This broadcaster has 701 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
December 22, 2020 6:00 am
This is important for us to understand we can fight the war of life without God in the way we fight life is in such a way that he gets the glory. That's what he's telling Gideon here people too many years you'll think you did something I'm going to shrink your fighting force down so low that no one can dispute that this was typical of God to reach down miraculously and do something for his servant.
This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher. Rick asked Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Judges, please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Judges chapter 7 as he begins his message typical God victory.
We are in Judges chapter 7 and we have God's servant. We have fear and that servant, the enemies of the servant.
We have faith, and of course we have the Lord working with his vessel's chosen vessel. This is typical material for God's victory. And that's the is this evening's message is entitled typical God victory because that's what this is, the miracles, the people all that's going on we go right to verse one then Jerome a bell that is Gideon and all the people who were with him. Rose early and encamped beside the well of her rod so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the Valley. Now, as we discussed in chapter 6 Gideon was given the name Jerome about which means let bow prove it. If he's God let improvement and it was a nickname given to him for creating a condition whereas the false God was challenged to defend himself and Gideon's father comes to the rescue they were going to kill Gideon for tearing down the altar and the the image next to the altar. He gives him this name Zerubbabel let bow prove it, and Gideon keeps the name he says yes got a nice ring to it.
I will wear that in and and I will mock the folly of man-made gods in verse two Yahweh said to Gideon, the people are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against me saying my own hand has saved me. Yahweh says to Gideon this and these are the conditions that I'm facing with you people I want to give you the victory with the Midianites, but if I just send a large army against their larger army you somehow going to claim that you brought about this victory and that I have that because you can't win without me.
This was true even for the apostles. Jesus said abide in me and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, you can you unless you abide in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches you abides in me, I in him, bears much fruit, for without me you can do nothing. Goddess, that's true. I mean so true all the time and he's telling Gideon to suppose that you can suddenly defeat these Midianites after all these years is silly without God. Israel was helpless, defenseless because they had sponged up idolatry that sop it up like you do with a biscuit and gravy. That's how the people handle these false ideas and preceding Christianity.
To this day with a Christian sopping up the world's ideas about how to live. I mental behavior. Our our morals and our responses and reactions to things the Bible tells us how we should live.
I cringe when I hear Christians turning to psychologists or some other contrary belief system. I know of one way to go through this life. Now I try the other way. I like this way better and that is with Jesus Christ and not some concoction of human wit and God that that's 11 I want more than what the world has to offer.
I want would God has to offer me as a believer, and what he offers me as a believer is not a pass on excuse.
I have to face the same emotional struggles as everyone else sometimes and not just emotional is all kind all brands of hardship and this is important for us to understand we can fight the war of life without God in the way we fight the war in this life is in such a way that he gets the glory.
That's what he's telling Gideon here people, too many you will you you'll think you did something I'm going to shrink your fighting force down so low that no one can dispute that this was typical of God to reach down miraculously and do something for his servant.
Verse three continues.
Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people saying whoever is fearful and afraid. Let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead and 22,000 of the people returned in 10,000 remained God's who would want to be a general over this army.
This is the first of two stages in God's reducing the Army's not done yet is not enough that 27,000 depart, but this was also in accordance with God's law. Deuteronomy chapter 20 God starts out he says when you go to the battlefield. Don't be afraid of them.
I'm with you. Then he says in that same sections as but if you have just built the house or you could say just bought a house you have to go to war do you live in that house. If you just planted a vineyard, a new vineyard or vine yard as some like to say then you don't have to go to war if you just took a wife you free from going to war if you are fainthearted is the four conditions in Deuteronomy 20 of your faith. You're afraid to die on the path to feel orbited, maimed, Deuteronomy 20 verse two. The officer shall speak further to the people and say what man is there who is fearful and fainthearted let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart. Fear is contagious.
Maybe your given to panic and fear. You hundred everybody else of the one that was thinking about victory all of a sudden is in thinking about defeat and fear what's going to happen to them fearful and the trembling soul makes victory on the battlefield near impossible. It makes it impossible for God to use them successfully. Fainthearted and war can become more of a problem than the enemy an enemy that was otherwise beatable is now unbeatable because panic is in the ranks and you return from the enemy and run because one person how great of fire great a forest a little fark and Kindle as James said Gideon had not the war seal of Caleb but he was not fainthearted. Nonetheless, everywhere he were left with the 22,000 I can resent hearing commentators or people think Gideon Lucy does tower the other problem with fear. You have probably feared to have got sent to the war were 300 men against 135,000 which is what's going to happen. It says 22,000 the people returned in 10,000 remained.
You know you know according to God. Gideon was better off without them, you know that one saying troublemakers hate hearing that in the church. The church as you know church better off without you hit resent hearing that stop causing trouble in the heart.
Well, the 22,000. That left not that they were lost souls did not love the Lord, but there fear again would bring otherwise avoidable disaster so they are dismissed and the enemy knows that Gideon has rallied an army. They may not yet know how many men he certainly won't know that it started out with 300 when they were attacked until much later flight. Years later, when Gideon publishes what happened. The sky like a comical side of the story with the newly rallied an army of 22,000 of your troops were filled with fear. This would have been sheep to the slaughter, they would've been annihilated, wiped out the invading hordes had counted on Israel's retaliation so they brought a force with them so big that nobody would think of Italian attacking them and for years it had been this way they'd come like locusts across the land and no one would challenge the so they didn't think anybody would challenge them now intimidation through force because they believe their army was superior and that was without God and God allowed them the victories that they had because as I mentioned, the people had sopped up the idolatry of the land. Instead of stopping it out and same with Christians. Can we not going to beat up on his ancient Israel and give the modern church or the church a pass as though she doesn't do these things.
The people in the church is not all Christians. Thank God, are prone to leavening the church but a great many are quick to leaven the church to bring in things won't be long and they are clearly addressed in Scripture and the bring them in. Nonetheless, as a military commander. He must've thought this a great setback. I mean he's gotta say to himself woman to do attend house and troops how to say what you see is down to 300 two thirds gone just like that, but you have to add this to the story would get it when Gideon rallied the troops yet 32,000 men that were ready to follow, not necessarily break the 10,000 remaining or braver than the 32-bit one that left 22 that left but that says something about the whole story, which I think lessons in all of this is God has to raise up a leader Gideon one that is worth following.
And when you follow a leader who's not worth following. In Christianity you have usually an apostate church or one that is on its way.
There and what makes a leader worth following is not his ability is his appointment got appointed.
This comes out in the story Gideon had no military credentials, he was a farmer hiding for his life trying to eke out a living God selected him. That's what we call anointing a calling on his life to deliver Israel. This is the story of all the judges I am. I should add, having more fun this time through judges than the last time we went through judges because the book is matured to joke anyway is because of course my Outlook is changed I see more of God's mercy and God's word with each passing year. I you know when you're young and you think you going to change the world, to preaching and people of the lineup you got.
Wait a minute there there settlements in so bad is this the situation that God had to die for sinners.
That's how bad it is. And yet in the midst of all of that we are more than conquerors because of love. God's love and our love in return for him. Whatever we can give back.
He takes it doesn't say no that's not enough love. I need more.
He takes the love we have be at low long as it is genuine love, not the love. This is what God what you do for me. Amanda love you as I get something from you. After all, that's what prayer is for God is just a genie in a Bible that is heresy.
Verse four so Yahweh said Gideon the people are still too many just dirt you know, what would you give to see the look on Gideon's face when he heard that.
Bring them down to the water and I will test them for you. There then it will be that of whom I say to you, this one shall go with you, the same shall go with you and who and of whomever I sent you this one shall not go with you, the same shall not go soak God's going to see if the troops more blessed subtractions. Again, 135 million troops awaiting for them. We get that from chapter 10 chips Barbie chapter 8 verse 10 bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there for your Lord and I'll test them.
Test them for you. Of course this would take a little time and you don't just bring 10,000 people down there and have one man walk-through hooks okay you and you you. This is a process, they probably brought them down and and ranks. Perhaps you know 200 at a time and I give him a chance. As the men would drink and in the next group would then come in the says, then it will be that of whom I say to you, this one shall go with you in the same shall go with you and of whomever I say to you, this one shall not go with you, the same shall not go us clear enough standby to lose a total of 31,700 troops out of 3200. Are you kidding me.
I miss amazing how God is talking to Gideon and he's acting on these things, yet he still has a good you know I will will be Seo great concerns and God knows this is comes out verse five. So he that's Gideon brought the people down to the water is not one man just walking the bounty gives command to his commanders and their bringing them down and Yahweh said to Gideon everyone who laughs from the water with his tongue as a dog lapse. You shall set apart by himself. Likewise, everyone who gets down on his knees to drink the number of those who laugh putting their hand to their mouth was 300 men, but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. Now I've changed my view on this last time I had a view that there were possibly three groups year but I think there's only two those who scoop hand to mouth, and those who got down on the hands and knees goes into groups. The men were unaware that they were being evaluated sifted the two groups with this only significance that one again is on hands and knees and the other is not the ones that are on their hands and needs will be dismissed. The come back into the fight. Later most of them if not all of those who do not get on their hands and knees with scoop up the water and bring it to their mouth, they are retained. Makes it very easy for Gideon to walk around and say you and walks around a bit more and you so more everybody's on his only bring in the next next company of men and he does the same process until finally they will all come through when he looks over and says got 300 left additional observations concerning this. Likewise, everyone who gets down on his knees is the Bible teaching us that these were too self-indulgent and unmindful of the surroundings to be used as an elite strike team.
I think yes but I you if you said no I don't think so because it doesn't say it. I couldn't argue with. But I also know the Bible is lessons for pastors to extract Paul dated in Galatians, he would talk about Abraham and Hagar and Sarah he would extract the lessons he would say that Sarah was the wife and Isaac is the child. So that's how pastors get to their messages somewhat like that to this day, so was this an indication that the character was less than ready for the elite mission and I gag anything so God knows that another word rejects entirely, because again as I mentioned, will see them come back rejoin the battle but not for this.
The Vanguard the tip of the sword into the fight he Gideon will end up with the most suitable men and God picks them. I think there are lessons here in the number of those who laugh, putting the hands of the mouth.
There was 300 men selected. So you have two postures and you can judge the significance one over the other. Verse seven.
Then Yahweh said to Gideon by the 300 men who lapse I will save you and deliver the Midianites into your hand that all the other people go every man to his place and connectivity.
I think it's interesting that there's no second in command mentioned that would've given Gideon.
Another problem but of course it is God who saves whether it is through 32,000 all the 300 this again typical of a typical God victory that we going to end up with Judges chapter 5. Any leader should be familiar with this as well as any follower. If you can't have one without the other. God does appoint some to be the leader and he appoints some to be the assistant leaders and he appoints others to be the troops. That's how things get done, you know, everybody cannot be a chief no Indians judges five to when leaders lead in Israel. When the people willingly offer themselves.
Bless Yahweh and that is what we're watching here the people are being led by Gideon and this submitting to Gideon's rule. The 300%. I am not going to talk akin to those Midianites adjusters little army we never read of that if there were a second in command or seconds in command. That would've been mutinous a bit shared. You know, Gen. MacArthur when he laid out his plans to make his way to the Philippines to commanders they would never work, but in typical co-MacArthur fashion. He was a commander he gave his order and that was that you like you to get court-martialed. Anyone how much more should we expect that when God is working through his Spirit and sometimes sometimes God intentionally allows the setbacks to sift out the doubts to see if were really in it so you fail that your first attempt to quit now. I show you what's inside of you that the fight is not yours to win but you think I have because I said I'm going to be with you because the storm the gates battle be one that day is too complex for that life too complex to many other things going on that you know nothing of.
I just need you to surrender. We like to talk about. I surrender all, when I'm good and ready. That's not surrender. Surrender means you have no option or art actually means this. The alternative is worse to not surrender is worse than surrendering forces force in life. Gideon is being forced into this situation is being forced into a situation we gotta trust God more than anything else at any point you could've gotten on his donkey and rolled away. He never does. So God says at the bottom of verse seven that all the people go every man to his own place.
That means they are dismissed and there's not one recorded word of their protest. No one is saying you mean you brought me all the way from Asher to hear just to send me home.
We don't get we don't get one notices this is my land that I have a right to fight for get because the people I believe had a basic understanding that God appointed Gideon to this that he was now filled with the spirit for this verse eight, so the people took provisions in their trumpets and their hands and he sent away all the rest of Israel every man to his tent and retain those 300 now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
I will add that there will be some this in all the fly in the ointment is says in Ecclesiastes. The dead flies in the ointment. Something to spoil it at the end of the victory.
Ephraim is going to be pretty upset with things would get that. The next chapter but but Gideon's funeral going to deal with it in a very successful way, but right now the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands and they were sent away, but they they left supplies for those that were there a campfire without supplies not very long, lightly and also me.
I have a horn you can have it food, water, judge, whatever supplies may be a bit lacking. Whatever they felt. Maybe they need more of the word where he says he sent the men to their tent is the prevailing word is their homes, so the expression to utensil Israel, but many of them were living in immuno structures.
Some may still have prefer tense but overall structures verse nine. It happened on the same night that Yahweh said to him, arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand cough cough with 300 men.
Lord, I don't think so professed with the natural response would've been the differences.
Sometimes we come up with an idea. We want God to bless it, but were actually tempting. The Lord was stepping we had no right to go out and do something not given us anything to do that. We just had a good idea and we step out thinking he's got I got all moderate and it fails that we were wondering how could God let this happen. Think in some cases as I mentioned earlier, he's sifting out the leaders who will pick up cells by the straps okay Lord what's next, but to be careful not to tempt the Lord under the guise of faith who thanks for tuning in to cross reference radio for this study in the book of Judges cross reference radio is the teaching ministry pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. If you'd like more information about this ministry, we invite you to visit our website cross reference radio.com you will find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there, and we encourage you to subscribe to our podcast by doing so you will be notified of each new edition of cross reference radio.
You can search for cross reference radio on your favorite podcast that work just follow the links and cross reference radio.com that's all the time we have for today.
Join us next time to continue learning more from the book of Judges right here cross reference rate