Summary: God helps us see beyond ourselves, beyond our circumstances, and learn to trust Him for who He is! He assures us that we are not alone and is very gracious to confirm His word to us!
Mighty Warriors in the Making
Judges 6:11-17 11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." 13 "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian." 14 The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" 15 "But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." 16 The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together." 17 Gideon replied, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.
Intro: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they crawled into their tent and went to sleep. In the middle of the night, Holmes awoke and nudged his friend. “Watson, look up and tell me what you see.” Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”
-“What does that tell you, Watson?” asked Holmes. Watson pondered a moment and then replied, “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is within the Leo constellation. Chronologically I observe it’s nighttime 3 a.m. on June 14th. Meteorologically, the air appears dry, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day. Why did you ask? What does it tell you?”
-Holmes says, “Watson, you dolt! Someone has stolen our tent!”
-After Deborah had died (Judges 5:31), Israel again became willfully blind to the obvious. They reverted to the old cycle of evil and idolatry, so the consequences were serious. The Midianites were known for their cruel brand of oppressiveness (6:2), so ruthless that Israel had to run and hide in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. The Midianites invaded, robbed and plundered whatever the Israelites had grown, so much so that no crop, livestock, or spirit was left in Israel (6:3). Again they cried unto the Lord, and whenever that happened, victory was assured (3:9, 3:15, 10:10). They left the house of bondage in Egypt (6:9) but they were never free until they learned to listen and obey the lord. God used an insignificant person to overthrow the stranglehold of the Midianites but also break the spell of sin within the family, deliver a community from idolatry and apostasy, and restore the nation to true worship.
-God can use anybody and anything to accomplish His purpose, but He prefers to use the weak and small things of the world, committed and faithful individuals, and patient and empowered people to accomplish His purpose and demonstrate His almighty power. [Borrowed from Victor Yap, sermoncentral.com]
-God uses the weak and small things of the world to accomplish His purpose and demonstrate His almighty power. But as He takes us in our weak state, He begins to work in us and change us from weak and ineffective people into mighty warriors.
-How does God change us from fearful doubters into mighty warriors? Let’s look at some of the ways God helps us to change us into a person of strength and valor.
I. God helps us see beyond ourselves
V.12 "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." – You are a mighty warrior!
V.14 "Go in the strength you have and save Israel….” – You have strength!
V.15 "But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
-God does not speak falsely! He sees the things that are not as if they were! We would call this seeing through eyes of faith. The Lord saw the end from the beginning and that is why he could call Gideon a mighty warrior! God knew what Gideon could do with what He had given Him, and He also knew that Gideon would stay true to Him and honor Him. That is why He could call him a mighty man of valor.
-One important thing that each of us needs to do is learn to recognize the difference between the voice of the enemy and the voice of the Lord. The enemy will remind us how weak and small and ineffective we are. He will remind us how many times we have failed in the past and try to create the expectation of failure in the future.