Summary: God thinned the army of Gideon to 300 to prove his power and might. What characteristics was/is He looking for in an army?
Gideon had torn down the altars of Baal. The Midianites and Amlekites were very angry with him. They wanted to kill him. But God placed his hand upon Gideon and protected him. Then God’s call came to Gideon. Gideon didn’t feel worthy to be used of the Lord. And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. Judges 6:15 So he put out the fleece to make sure that he was understanding God’s call.
Gideon had 32,000 men that were ready to go to war against the Midianites. But God said that was too many. He didn’t want Israel to brag about their accomplishments. He wanted to be the one to receive praise. It is a good picture of Salvation. We are not saved by works because if we were we could brag about it. Salvation by grace gives us only one person to praise, Jesus Christ.
Every time Israel went into battle the outcome was determined by one thing. It was not whether they were armed heavily enough, had a big enough army, or knew proper military strategy. Every time Israel went into battle with obedience to God, they won. Every time they were disobedient, they lost. We may be facing war as a nation in the upcoming days. There is a lot of uncertainty in the world about this conflict. If we are to win, we must have God on our side.
We have all heard the Military commercial “we’re looking for a few good men.”
But the Bible tells us in our Christian walk that we don’t battle against flesh and blood but it is a spiritual warfare that we fight in every day. Are you part of God’s spiritual army?
WHEN GOD RECRUITS AN ARMY HE IS LOOKING FOR :
I. A FEW BRAVE PEOPLE. Vs. 3
A) 22,000 went home, 10,000 stayed
B) Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson.
C) Adrian Rogers tells about the man who bragged that he had cut off the tail of a man-eating lion with his pocket knife. Asked why he hadn’t cut off the lion’s head, the man replied: "Someone had already done that."
D) We are called to bravely serve in the army of God. II Tim 1:6-9
II. A FEW SELFLESS PEOPLE Vs. 4-6
A) 9,700 men were only concerned with their thirst…paid no attention to their fellow soldier or to the enemy.
B) Do you put others first?
C) Do you give God the glory for victories in your life? The aunt of Elizabeth Smart was on a major news network the other night. They had interviewed her about the return of this 15 year old girl that had been abducted nearly a year earlier. The aunt said, “There is one person that we need to make sure we thank. I want to thank the Lord, God, Almi…..(Now back in our studio to ____). They cut her off. The world doesn’t want to hear praises to God.
D) A lawsuit has been filed against our President for talking about God too much. Give me a break!
E) It’s not about me. It’s all about you Lord. Can you say that with conviction? Are you selfless enough to serve God because of your love for Him instead of in an attempt to impress people or get a pat on the back?
--Are you selfless enough to serve God by serving others and putting others first?
III. A FEW DEDICATED PEOPLE Vs. 7
A) Only 300 remained. 32,000 to 300, the army wouldn’t want God as their recruiter. But God has never lost a battle.
B) The battle gets hard. Are you in it for the long haul? Are you committed to Christ for the rest of your days? Even when it gets hard?
In his book One Crowded Hour, Tim Bowden describes an incident in Borneo in 1964. Nepalese fighters known as Gurkhas were asked if they would be willing to jump from airplanes into combat against the Indonesians. The Gurkhas didn’t clearly understand what was involved, but they bravely said they would do it, asking only that the plane fly slowly over a swampy area and no higher than 100 feet. When they were told that the parachutes would not have time to open at that height, the Gurkhas replied, "Oh, you didn’t mention parachutes before!" Our Daily Bread, January 30, 1994.