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Summary: Gideon serves as a great example of a man who overcame the attack of an overwhelming enemy.

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Judges 7:9-15 KJV And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. [10] But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: [11] And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. [12] And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. [13] And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. [14] And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. [15] And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.

I. INTRODUCTION—SNEERS AND TRASH-TALKING

A. General

-Have you ever found yourself in that unenviable position of being sneered at? To be sneered at means, according to Merriam Webster:

1 : to be smiled or laughed at with facial contortions that express scorn or contempt; or

2 : to be spoken of or written about in a scornful jeering manner.

-At some point in your life, you have had to endure the criticism of a person who did not like you, or maybe even hated you. But to be sneered at is even more difficult when there is a bit of verbal intimidation mixed in with it.

-Some of the younger generation might say that you have been “dissed.” The first time I heard that I asked my kids what that word meant and they told me, “Dad that means you have been disrespected.” Ah, the joys of living in this twittering and texting generation that wants to cut down the King’s English to just a few grunts and funny hand signals.

-However, mixing that sneer with a bit of trash-talking, which Merriam Webster defines as disparaging, taunting, or boastful comments especially between opponents trying to intimidate each other. Usually the sneers and trash-talking has one more component to it that is intended to create problems and that is a swagger about them.

-To swagger about means, again according to Merriam Webster, to conduct oneself in an arrogant or superciliously pompous manner; especially: to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence.

-Often you will find that athletes resort to this kind of activity when they are opposing one another as they try to gain every advantage possible to beat their opponent. They use these words and statements to try to jostle their mind and destroy their confidence. There are times that this action can be effective and matches, games, and championships have been affected by the actions of these sneering, swaggering trash-talkers.

B. Biblical

-When you look in the Bible, there are a number of Scriptures that indicate to us that God’s people are often under the attack of withering crusaders who want nothing more than to destroy God’s plan and people.

-The Psalms are literally loaded with the cries of those many writers who found themselves attacked by bullies:

Psalms 57:4 KJV My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Psalms 57:6 KJV They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

Psalms 7:6 KJV Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.

Psalms 13:4 KJV Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

Psalms 62:4 KJV They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.

Psalms 27:6 KJV And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

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