Summary: Gideon was a man that had serious trust issues with God. He looked around in his land and concluded that God must not be near because of the circumstances. He looked at himself and knew that he was not equal to the task of defeating Midian and did not t
GROUNDED IN TRUST
INTRODUCTION... Boy Trusted His Father, Our Daily Bread, April 8, 1996
A group of scientists and botanists were exploring remote regions of the Alps in search of new species of
flowers. One day they noticed through binoculars a flower of such rarity and beauty that its value to science was incalculable. But it lay deep in a ravine with cliffs on both sides. To get the flower someone had to be lowered over the cliff on a rope. A curious young boy was watching nearby, and the scientists told him they would pay him well if he would agree to be lowered over the cliff to retrieve the flower below. The boy took one long look down the steep, dizzy depths and said, “I’ll be back in a minute.” A short time later he returned, followed by a gray-haired man. Approaching the botanist, the boy said, “I’ll go over that cliff and get that flower for you if this man holds the rope. He’s my dad.”
Now that is trust. The boy knew because of his experience with his father that he could be trusted...
absolutely trusted. Today we are going to look at a passage about trust, not between people, but between us and God. I have some questions to think about before we read:
* Do you trust God to lead you where you should go?
* Do you trust God’s Word?
* Do you trust God even though life seems to be falling down around you?
* Do you trust God when bad things happen to you or your family?
Our passage this morning centers around a leader of God’s people by the name of Gideon. We’ll find as we read that Gideon earned a new name: ’Jerub-Baal’ which means “Let Baal contend with him.’ Why would he get a name like that? What does this passage teach us about trusting God? Let’s read the most important part of this passage. We will look at the whole of chapter 6, but let’s focus on verses 28-40.
READ JUDGES 6:28-40
Our passage comes at a time when the ’Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord’ (6:1) and as a result, God allowed the Midianites to oppress the people of Israel and invade. Verse 6:6 tells us that the Midianites plundered the land so much and so well that the people were ’impoverished’ and they cried out to the Lord for help. This is not the first time this has happened. All throughout the book of Judges we see this cycle of sin, crying out, deliverance, faithfulness, and then sin again. This happened over and over and over. We come into chapter 6 during a time of great sin. There were altars to Baal and Asherah poles all around the land. Gideon was called by God in 6:12 and is called to remove the idolatry from God’s people and deliver them from the hands of the Midianites.
The Lord tells Gideon (in the part of the passage that we did not read) several important things:
1) “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (verse 12)
2) Gideon was told he would deliver God’s people from Midian (verse 14)
3) The Lord tells Gideon He will be with him (verse 16)
God makes it clear that Gideon is His man to deliver Israel from the Midianites. Gideon will call the people back to faithfulness. Gideon will lead troops in battle and crush the Midianite armies. God told Him so. God also instructs Gideon that he is to lead the army of Israel into battle in the Valley of Jezreel. This will be a decisive battle to free Israel. Gideon begins to prepare by sending messages to all the surrounding tribes that he needs soldiers. A battle is near, but Gideon has a problem.
ILLUSTRATION... Trust Him, Author Unknown
Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee,
Trust Him when thy strength is small,
Trust Him when to simply trust Him
Seems the hardest thing of all.
Trust Him, He is ever faithful,
Trust Him, for his will is best,
Trust Him, for the heart of Jesus
Is the only place of rest.
Gideon’s problem is expressed twice in this passage. The first time occurs in verse 13-15. God has just finished telling him that He is with Gideon and Gideon will be the deliverer of Israel from the hands of Midian. What does Gideon say? What does Gideon do? He says and does two things:
First, Gideon is not obedient, but questions God about the task set before him. Gideon wonders if God is with him why all the bad things are happening around him. If God is with Israel, why are there invaders? If God is with Israel, why does he have to thresh grain in secret to hide it from the Midianites? If God is with Israel, where is the ’parting of the Red Sea’ power or ’pillars of fire’ or anything else described in the Exodus? Where is it?! Gideon questions God to the point of not trusting God.