Summary: A message of challenge for American Christians to make a stand for righteousness.
Mighty People of Valor
The late Joseph P. Kennedy – the father of John Fitzgerald Kennedy – our 35th president of the United States – Is noted for the popular power phrase…
When the going gets tough – the tough get going!
It sounds real good and it envisions people reaching down deep in desperate times and fighting their way out of a corner.
The only problem with that is – what if God was the one who put you in the corner?
How many of you knows that God wants you and I to be totally dependant upon Himself?
• Not our own abilities!
• Not our money!
• Nor our world connections!
I don’t know about you – but when something breaks in my life I am forever trying to find a way to fix it.
Sometimes that is okay – If it means changing a light bulb.
But if it is has to do with the battle for your peace – it might not be something you can fix.
I want to share with you today a message of faith – a message to point you in the direction of the author and finisher of our faith – the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the book of Judges Chapter 6 it says that Israel had done evil in the sight of the Lord – and God delivered them into the hands of their enemies – the Midianites for seven years.
• Some people believe that you can short change God and get away with it.
• Israel tried it – and they wound up as slaves of the Midianites for seven years.
Judges 6:6 (NKJV) So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.
Aren’t you glad that God’s anger can be turn away with repentance?
The Bible says that there was one man in Israel who God trusted.
Judges 6:11-12 (NKJV) Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, "The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!"
The word valor means strength and power – valiant.
2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV) For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
• God is ready to show His power and His deliverance to those who will be loyal to Him.
• And so it was with Gideon – God was ready to show Himself strong for Gideon.
But Gideon is discouraged – his heart is disturbed because for seven years they have been enslaved to Midian.
Listen as he talks to the Angel of the Lord (this is what is called a theophany – a physical manifestation of God – it is Jesus)…
Judges 6:13 (NKJV) Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites."
Do you ever get discouraged and cross with the Lord?
• You can hear the defeat in Gideon as he communicates his despair.
• How many times have you said – But God – I’ve tried and tried – but it seems I can’t win?
• And that is exactly the place where the devil wants all believers…
• He desires for you to think God has forsaken you.
• And in this case – God has drawn back His hand from Israel because of their sin.
• As it has been said many times – sin will take you further than you want to go – and keep you there longer than you wanted to stay.
But then Jesus turned to him and said something important…
Judges 6:14 (NKJV) Then the LORD turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?"
Now this is a powerful revelation.
It is rare that God says –
• You have the might…
• You have the power…
• You will save Israel from the Midianites…
But then He says – and you better hear this – I have sent you!
And then Gideon goes through this great tirade of humility…
• God – how can I do this thing…