Summary: As he did for Gideon, the Lord often places us in situations that seem impossible. He trains us to give up on our own strength and trust in him alone, relying only on his promises, so that the credit goes to God.

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Text: Judges 7:1-8

Theme: The Credit Goes to God

Season: Pentecost 17c

Date: September 19, 2010

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. The Word from God through which the Holy Spirit assures of our God’s protections is Judges 7.

"Jerub-baal, that’s Gideon, and all the people with him got up in the morning. They were camped near the spring of Haron, and the Midianite camp was in the valley north of Mt. Moreh. The LORD said to Gideon, "There are too many people with you for me to give Midian into their hand, so that Israel does not glorify itself against me, saying ’My hand has saved me!’ Now summon the people and say, ’Whoever is fearful or trembling let him return and go back from Mt. Gilead." Twenty-two thousand of the people went back, and ten thousand were left.

"The LORD said to Gideon, "The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Whichever one I tell you, ’This one goes with you,’ he goes with you. And everyone of whom I say to you, ’This one does not go with you,’ he does not go."

"He took them down to the water, and the LORD said to Gideon, "Everyone who laps up the water with his tongue just as a dog laps -- set him apart by himself, and also everyone who kneels on his knees to drink. The number of those who were lapping with their hands to their mouth was three hundred men. All the rest of the people had knelt on their knees to drink the water.

"The LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men who were lapping I will save you and give Midian into your hands. Everyone else went to his own place. The people took in hand the provision and their trumpets. He sent everyone of the Israelites to his own tent and kept hold of the three hundred. Midian’s camp was below him in the valley." (Judges 7:1-8)

Dear friends in Christ, fellow saints washed clean in the blood of our risen Savior:

1. What’s the moral in underdog stories? Is that moral what God wants to teach us in the account of Gideon vs. Midian?

The high school basketball team did well that year. They were only a small town in Pipestone County, MN. It was the days before amalgamated school districts. Edgerton was only a town of under a thousand on the edge of the prairie. But their basketball went undefeated in the regular season. Maybe we can relate to that.

But then the playoffs came. This was fifty years ago before big schools and small ones were divided into class A, AA, AAA, and so on. There was only one state basketball championship. What chance did little Edgerton have?

But then they beat Mankato and after that Chisholm. Then came the biggest challenge of all. In the semifinals they faced Richfield, the number one ranked team in the state. Few sports writers gave Edgerton much of a chance. But at the end of regulation time the score was tied. In overtime Edgerton could make only free throws. But that was enough. They won 63-60. After that, the championship against Austin was an easy victory. (

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