Summary: HOW WE RESPOND TO SUCCESS IN GOD’S DELIVERANCE STORY, IMPACTS FUTURE BLESSINGS.
Gideon: Wrong in the End
In Youngstown Ohio one of the individuals that was a part of a group I drank coffee with was a young volunteer firefighter and newly trained EMT. One day working apart time shift for an ambulance company in Boardman, OH, John was a part of a response team called to a house where a live alone elderly man had called 911. He had collapsed and it was believed that he was suffering a heart attack.
John’ s vehicle was the first on scene and leaving his partner behind at the truck he rushed to the front door of the home. It was locked. Fearing for the man’s life, he stood back focused and gave a huge side kick to the door, bursting the jambs and allowing him access to the home. John was very proud or his accomplishment. The fact that he had so swiftly broken the door and gained entry. His pride diminished significantly when his partner rushed inside to inform him it was the wrong house.
He did everything right. His motives were pure his heart was in the right place, just one little detail led him to be totally wrong in the end.
T.S. When you consider what Gideon has done it’s astounding. He has gone from a fearful farmer to a courageous, unrelenting warrior.
He has eradicated the idolatrous worship of Baal and Asherah through out his family. Through his vision, faith, and obedience to the Lord, Gideon has vanquished the Midianite army, scattered its last remnants in the desert of Moab, and executed its evil leaders.
Imagine what his countrymen think of him now! In contemporary speech they might say, "Gideon, you are the Man!"
HOW WE RESPOND TO SUCCESS IN GOD’S DELIVERANCE STORY, IMPACTS FUTURE BLESSINGS.
I. THE STORY
A. Gideon the Savior? (8:22-23)
When Gideon and his band of 300 men return home, they are met with a hero’s welcome. The Israelites, who have been leaderless for years, now see in Gideon the marks of leadership. They need him, but in their request they commit two grave errors.
1. First, they attribute the defeat of Midian to Gideon rather than God.
"The Israelites said to Gideon, ’Rule over us -- you, your son and your grandson -- because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian.’
But Gideon told them, ’I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you.’" (8:22-23)
The Israelites saw Gideon as savior; Gideon saw the Lord as Savior, and to his credit, humbly points them to God.
There is an ancient deception -- that great men and women are what we need rather than a great God.
Dr. Costa Deir, "There are no great men of God," he told us. "Only men of a great God."
But isn’t Gideon a savior? A great man?
Yes, in a sense, so long as he continues to follow God with all his heart.
B. Gideon Refuses the Kingship (8:22-23)
"The Israelites said to Gideon, ’Rule over us -- you, your son and your grandson -- because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian.’ But Gideon told them, ’I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you.’ " (8:22-23)
2. The Israelites’ second error was to seek to establish a hereditary dynasty of kings.
"You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." (Exodus 19:4-6)
20 "See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. 22 If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. 23 My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. 24 Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. 25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.