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Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Sun, Nov 12, 2017

Gideon - Fighting for Restoration

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The fact that the Israelites had repented of their evil deeds did not translate into automatic deliverance for them; they had to fight for it. The Midianites did not just walk away. Rather, they gathered as they normally did in their huge number to terrorize and oppress the Israelites (v. 33). When this happened again, first, the Lord Himself prepared His people for battle through His chosen servant Gideon (6:34-35). The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, clothing him with His presence and power, and giving him the wisdom and ability to lead the troops of Israel.

The fact that the Israelites had repented of their evil deeds did not translate into automatic deliverance for them; they had to fight for it. The Midianites did not just walk away. Rather, they gathered as they normally did in their huge number to terrorize and oppress the Israelites (v. 33). When this happened again, first, the Lord Himself prepared His people for battle through His chosen servant Gideon (6:34-35). The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, clothing him with His presence and power, and giving him the wisdom and ability to lead the troops of Israel. Second, Gideon issued the call to arms and over 32,000 Israelite soldiers mobilized for war (8:3).

 

Third, Gideon sought assurance from God that it was His will for him to engage the Midianites in battle (6:33-40). He was outmanned four to one and could well be outmaneuvered. Gideon needed reassurance from God. Gideon needed the Lord to help his unbelief, to strengthen his faith. Thus, he got alone with the Lord and sought His face. God heard his prayer in "putting out the fleece," and meeting the need of His dear servant. Fourth, there was the test of Gideon’s faith (7:2-3). God demanded that Gideon reduce his army from 32,000 men down to only 300 soldiers! This was to prevent boasting; to teach that God alone can give victory and conquer the enemy of His people. Fifth, there was the encouragement of faith.

 

Courageously, Gideon and his servant snuck close enough to overhear a dream being discussed by two enemy soldiers, probably sentries (7:13-14). Overhearing this dream, Gideon immediately knew that the enemy army would collapse, be overturned and overthrown by the miraculous power of God. Sixth, there was the victory of faith. One, we note the brilliant strategy the Spirit of God led Gideon to plan. He divided his troop of 300 men into three groups, instructing each of them to take trumpets for blowing, jars that were to be broken in order to cause loud noises, and torches in order to give the impression of over 300 divisions of soldiers attacking the Midianite camp (7:16).

 

Two, we note the brilliant timing of the secret attack. It was launched sometime between 10 and 12 p.m., right after the changing of the enemy's guard (7:19). Three, the strategy of the attack was ingenious, demonstrating a picture of great faith in God (7:19-21). The 300 Israelite soldiers took their positions. And, at Gideon's signal, they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars and shouted out the war cry. Four, this military tactic produced a startling, miraculous defeat of the enemy (7:22). The executed plan produced utter confusion, chaos, panic, and bedlam among the enemy. Five, at some point, the 300 Israelite soldiers began to pursue the enemy (7:23-25). Gideon's great victory reminded the Jews of God's power to deliver them from their enemies.

 

This was the day that the Israelites would never forget (Psalms 83:11; Isaiah 9:4; 10:26). There are at least three strong lessons for us in this point: One, impossible situations confront all of us throughout life but there is a faith available that will always conquer any crises, no matter how severe or terrifying. That faith is faith in God. Two, the Lord has the power to change any person. God took Gideon, a young farmer, and transformed him into a strong believer. God changed the life of Gideon. And He can change the life of any human being.

 

Only one element is necessary: faith. Faith in God. A person who wants to be changed, transformed—who wants to begin life anew, afresh, all over again—must trust God. He must have faith in God, believe God. And God will change him, transform him into a new creation. Three, God does not need large numbers to accomplish His purpose, nor does He need especially gifted leaders.

 

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