Sermons

Summary: Judges, Pt. 2

YOU HAVE MORE POWER THAN YOU THINK (JUDG 6:11-35)

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 idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!”

After Deborah had died (Judg 5:31), the Israelites were again oblivious and blind to the obvious. They reversed to the old cycle or pattern of evil and idolatry (Judg 3:7, 3:12, 4:1, 10:6, 13:1), so the consequences were accelerated. The enemies were not the Canaanites now, but the Midianites that were known for their cruel brand of oppressiveness (6:2), so ruthless that Israel had to take to and hide in the mountain clefts, caves and strongholds for the first time. 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 happens, victory was assured (3:9, 3:15, 10:10). They exited the house of bondage in Egypt (6:9) but they were never free until they learn 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.

God uses the weak and small things of the world to accomplish His purpose and demonstrate His almighty power

God Uses People Who Are Lowly

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.” (Judg 6:11-16)

An old story describes the scene shortly after Christ’s return to heaven following his death, burial and resurrection. The angel Gabriel came up to Jesus and said, “Lord, you suffered terribly for men down there.” “I did,” the Lord replied. Gabriel continued, “Do they know all about how you loved them and what you did for them?”

“Oh, no,” said Jesus, “not yet. Right now, only a few people in Israel know.” Gabriel was puzzled. “Then what have you done to let everyone know about your love for them?” Jesus said, “I’ve asked Peter, James, and John, and a few of their friends to tell others about me. Those who are told will in turn tell still other people, and my story will be spread the farthest corners of the Earth. Ultimately, all mankind will have heard about my life and what I have done.”

Gabriel appeared a bit skeptical. He knew how little mankind could be depended upon. “Yes,” he said, but what if Peter, James and John grow weary? What if the people who come after them forget or simply don’t follow through? Haven’t you made any other plans?” Jesus answered, “I have no other plans. I’m counting on them.”

God sent a little-known, seldom-seen, and fairly-busy man to awake Israel. Gideon had reasons to groan hearing the messenger’s flattering salutation: “Who, me?” “Are you kidding?” “You must be mistaken.” Gideon was the youngest in the family and his clan was the weakest in Manasseh; so Gideon had as much say or presence in the family as his clan had in tribal matters. He was nobody, he had work to do and things on his mind, specifically how to avoid being seen or noticed, making noise and causing trouble. All his life he was instructed, conditioned, and determined to stay low, out of sight, and away from the Midianites.

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