Summary: This sermon is about God's encounter with Gideon to lead the people of God back to Him.
“WHEN GOD SPEAKS – GIDEON” Judges 7
CWBC – 2/24/19
INTRO – Gideon –When we hear that name, we usually think about Bibles. There are about 2 Bibles distributed per second by the Gideons International organization. Many of us think about the little NT we were given in PUBLIC schools when we were in 5th grade. We also think about the Bibles that we see in hotel rooms around the world. Mama started teaching us a long time ago to take those Bibles & mark them at John 3:16 w/ a dollar or two & leave for the maid when we are checking out. I taught my youth groups to do the same thing. Would encourage you to do the same thing, too.
Lots of people’s lives have been eternally changed due to the ministry of the Gideons. People Michael DiMarco – stole $ from his company to support his gambling habit. Ended up in jail. First night in jail, found himself w/ nothing more than a pillow, a small towel, & a well-worn Gideon NT. Picked it up, closed his eyes, & pointed at a verse. Finger landed on 2 Cor. 5:17 – “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Fell on his knees & cried out to the Lord to save him. He now pastors Friendship Community Church in Old Hickory, TN, is a sought-after speaker for Precept Ministries, Awana, & FUGE camps, & the author of over 50 books. His is a story of life transformation.
The story of Gideon in Judges 6-7 is a story of transformation. And, today, YOUR story can be a story of transformation as you hear God speak to you.
EXPLANATION – Open your Bibles or your Bible app to Judges 6:11-12 (page 205 in pew Bible).
Gideon was a judge in the OT. That’s why this OT book is called Judges – it tells the mostly tragic story of how God’s people consistently walked away from Him year after year. There was a cycle that would be repeated during the time:
1. Apostasy – The children of Israel would do what was evil in the sight of God.
2. Servitude – God would allow them to be defeated by their enemies & placed in captivity & servitude.
3. Supplication – When the consequences of their sin would lead them to a place of desperation, they would cry out to God.
4. Salvation – God would send a judge to lead them back to Him.
But then the cycle would continue & they would return to their idolatrous ways. All told, there were 15 different judges who ruled over Israel over the course of about 325-350 years. Gideon served as a judge for about 40 years & was probably the greatest judge that Israel had. He was a “mighty man of valor” (6:12) whom God spoke to in a direct way to lead His people back to a place of obedience.
APPLICATION – God will speak to us to bring us to a place of transformation in our lives. Transformation of our lives is His plan for our lives.
- Rom. 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Or as the NLT puts it: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
- Verse that Michael DiMarco read in that jail cell – 2 Cor. 5:17 – “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
You see – God’s plan for us is that we experience His complete transformation in our lives. When He does speak to us to transform our lives, here is what we need to do:
We need respond to His correction – 6:1-10
This first section of chapter 6 is not God speaking to Gideon; it’s God speaking to His children through a prophet that He sent to them. God had some SERIOUS stuff to say to them! And He’s got some serious stuff to say to us today! Why? Because we are headed in the same direction as the children of Israel in Gideon’s day. Verse 1 – “The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord…” could very well say, “The people of the Church in America did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” And the same type of suffering & pain they went through can be expected of those in the Church today who are turning away from the Lord, including us here today. This isn’t a message for all of “them” out there – it’s a message for us here today – a warning for us here today – an exhortation for us – an admonition for us – a persuasion for us. When God speaks, we need to respond to His correction!