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December 23, 2020 6:00 am
The differences sometimes we come up with an idea. We want God to bless, but were actually tempting the Lord step. You have no right to go out 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.
I think in some cases as I mentioned earlier, he's sifting out the leaders who will pick up cells by the bootstraps is okay Lord what's next, but to be careful not to tempt the Lord. 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, and now here's Pastor Rick with his continuing study called typical God victory in Judges chapter 7 so was this an indication that the character was less than ready for the elite mission and I gag anything so God knows that now they were 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 left 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.
Think 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 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 on 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 role. The 300%. I am not going to call her kids those Midianites it just this little army we never read of that if there were a second in command or seconds in command.
That would've been muteness shared a 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-martial 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 like to talk about. I surrender all, when I'm good and ready.
That's not surrender. Surrender means you have no option or or actually it 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 got to 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 with 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 jugs, whatever supplies may be lacking. Whatever they felt. Maybe they needed more of the word where he says he sent the man to their tent is the prevailing word is their homes, so the expression to utensil Israel, but many of them were living in nanostructures. Some may still have preferred 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. But that's 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 were stepping.
We have 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 are wondering how could God let this happen.
I think in some cases as I mentioned earlier, he's sifting out the leaders who will some pickup them selves by the bootstraps and say okay Lord what's next, but to be careful not to tempt the Lord under the guise of faith you have to have surgery can be outside the Scripture. There's got to be prayer involved the Holy Spirit's leading has to be present in the situation has to be considered. And you gotta put all those together and and if you have that leading of the Spirit and everything else is not out of bounds.
You press forward.
And if you do that enough times it becomes sort of your training. You don't think so much about you know you're praying you're talking you see a been here before. Oh, I'm going to step out. I'm not guaranteed victory, but I am guaranteed to be with the Lord and that's how it's supposed to be done. What happens so often, though, is someone is already got a plan, if implemented somewhere else and they don't implement it now and you gotta get you know, stir people up to participate, you gotta stir them up to contribute in an you know is just so unfortunate when we worked on this church. We turn this structure into an assembly for God. Those who came out to work were all volunteers. They wanted to do this for the Lord. They were honored to do this you can sit on their faces. They loved it. They left the worrying to me and it really wasn't too much of that one or two bumps that's about it. So is waiting for the big one and never came so God notorious for delay because that's another part of how God leads hurry up and wait is with God. Do what just like with military today you better be ready when you call man comes now, and this of course is the lesson of the 10 virgins, five of them were ready.
The other five were not too late. So God is notorious for delay, but we are supposed to be ever ready Minutemen. We like that we hear about the Minutemen in our history of the history of this country about when it's in our lives. Verse 10 but if you are afraid to go down go down to the camp with Pura, your servant just love this part. I just love it.
I maybe maybe last time I many years ago was five, six, probably more.
Whatever it was, I probably would've looked at this verse and said yeah Gideon had fear, but now I put myself in Kitty's patents and I would had fear. You really can't get got much done with a leader who doesn't fear you get a be a little nervous about a situation you've got your viewer extracting the best from him.
God knew the drastic troops should sit reduction would rattle Gideon's faith. You know it.
That's why he says to him if he still afraid God knows he's afraid he's got it all ready for him is good to tell us three times already. He has assured Gideon that he is with him, but he understands that his methods with Gideon are breaking down that assurance is he's going to build them up again instead of just you know scolding him or something you know like that he doesn't do that is already given him three special signs.
It was a fire on onto the rock to consume the offering was the fleece dry fleece wet and he also stripped them of this fighting force and God's going to help the does that God says you know I'll come back and I'll confirm again because I know in between here and there is a lot of stuff. Leviticus got this right will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm my covenant with you. God is telling future generations of the of the righteous. I will look favorably on you all make you fruitful as Jesus said, you can bear fruit without me I'll multiply you what happens when we get to the book of acts. The church is magnified.
The church is multiplied church is magnified because they magnify the Lord Christ was what magnified the church was magnified. They were fruitful. They multiplied with believers and it was such a basic formula is just so basic and is frowned upon today for churches to model themselves after the book of acts you got to do more, you will spare yourself up with something. Gideon was a practical man. He was neither cowardly nor was he Lionheart me wasn't molecular connects with Caleb or next to Ben Anaya but he was a practical man and it took courage for him to act on what God is saying. So we look again at verse 10, but if you are afraid go down and go down to the can't with Pura, your servants of God the buddy system is taking money with you and if you could get up close to the enemy. You gotta get close enough to hear them in dialogue that takes a little courage. I would think God is not unsympathetic to him. He says take your servant with you in verse 11 you shall hear what they say and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against camp.
Then he went down with Pura is servant to the outpost of the armed men were in the camp is up close enough to hear the centuries talking their perimeter that takes guts. This is kind of men God wants, women God wants the Lord does not tell Gideon what he's going to hear. He told Gideon how he's going to react to what he hears and you know you so why is he withholding it.
Why doesn't he raise up a prophet to come and tell Gideon situation was such got it didn't work works and other times with other people but not every time with Gideon probably would've dismissed. I can see Gideon saying thank you. I know the Lord is on my side and know that God's been speaking to me, but I just got this uneasy feeling 300 men. I mean come on, what am I supposed to do with that is going to find out verse 12, the Midianites and the Amalekites.
The allies in all of these are these are like the worst bikers you could have in your neighborhood with no law enforcement to see them with their vest on the Midianites across the back all the people of the East that others other than these two people were lying in the Valley. As numerous as locusts and their camels were without number, and this is the sand by the seashore and multitude.
Gotta make your stomach drop you, you see the enemy's forces just know way and you they don't know that Gideon had only will they might've known he had 32,000 men come out they would've counted the divisions that they would quickly assess what they were up against it would've laughed at that but they don't know now is get 300 men. So verse 13 and when Gideon had come there. There was a man telling a dream to his companion.
He said I have had a dream to my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian came to a tent constructed so that it fell in over turn and then the tent collapsed then. His companion answered and said, this is nothing but the sort of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel into his hand. God has delivered Midian in the whole camp. Gotta say, this is you can't fake this you get this is not stage. These are the enemies troops having a discussion they don't know I'm you know low riding out here listening to them. Hopefully what we do as Christians read the stories and we absorb the lessons but I will have to add. You can absorb all the lessons you want to. When it comes time to face the hardship is not going to be easy PC Japanese is going to be tough. Nonetheless bought you will make and you will make it without going to the world for help you make it in Christ and what is done in your all beat up you will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord blessed be the name of the Lord, you can go to a rut with God for years. I know what I'm talking about and nobody else can know what you it's possible then you come out of that right and nobody knows but you and this should tell and the way to do it issued abide in Christ as defined in the branch manning the divine in the fruit you will abide in him you just stick to him no matter what, no fix that in your head that that in your noggin no matter what I a going anywhere else.
I will sop up. None of the gravy of idolatry of this world's ideas about how I'm supposed to go through this life. Your option is you can live in it. You can depart from the Lord.
Take your lumps and talk about him so depressed that is life. Face it won't last forever. You will get to the other side.
Leo John Bunyan's Pilgrim's progress. He's in the castle in doubting Castle. The giant has him prisoner for trespass were being way, didn't belong in the giant ECM and hopefuls savagely and Bunyan's sake. I am a Christian. I'm going to use Scripture verses to back up this illustration I'm giving you because I'm going through this here in Bedford prison for 12 years. It wasn't just the story he was loving it know about depression and doubt and Satan and all the things it that are thrown at us in this life you know it.
So we listen to the story from Gideon and we have to put ourselves in Gideon's place.
I am the commander of the worst forces their meager forces compared to the world standards but I'm in line for typical God victory. I don't how it's coming on what I go through but I get that's how it works for me otherwise is just a bedtime story for children is just a fairytale that has no bearing on what we face.
And as you grow through the decades as you go through your 20s or 30s or 40s or 50s as you go through these you go to different stages will go to Scriptures. That'll as we would say hell or high water. Well we are here about this. These two centuries who didn't know Gideon's out there listening and are not knowing how small an army. He had so the picture that's given to us is that of a stale hard loaf of barley roasting through their camp and collapsing their leadership and their army barley the food of the poor former wheat was the bread of choice barley wasn't as good as the week and that was Gideon is just barley compared to the wheat and yet this is what God is using and the man who interpreted the dream again had no idea God was speaking through him to the servant that was hiding or out of sight, encouraging God's servant. Now God uses believers to prophesy.
Unbeknownst to them once he actually spoke to a donkey so that kinda sets the bar pretty high for me that's like the lesson to get to the point and then I'll come and fill them in. When God cannot rule he decides at times to overrule and that's what we see here and that's what we see when Abimelech had a vision from God. He was an unbeliever. When Joseph's fellow prisoners had their dreams that Joseph interpreted when the Faro had his dream that Joseph interpreted God could given the dreams to Joseph to tell them, but he did not. Joseph interpreted them the witch of Endor insert in Saul's day. Nebuchadnezzar had dreams that Daniel interpreted in the New Testament.
Caiaphas prophesied being the high priest, it is expedient for someone to die for the never one to die for the nation. There was the wife of Pilate had nothing to do it this bad. I've had a dream of vision about him so you have God we overrule whatever he wants to overrule not only gives the unbelievers. The dream begins. The other one.
The interpretation on the spot. Sometimes Daniel had to walk or hobby back you get this I pray about this one. I love the Lord, how he does these things when I'm reading it in someone else's.
I'm not too happy when it's because I don't know was going to happen. Then I don't know how I'm going to do, but if I'm afraid of failing on I got to do much if that's all of God's okay to be afraid to fail is not okay. Just leave it like that and so you know once God uses a lying prophet. You know from first Kings chapter 13 where the man of God is told you, you go preach my word and you come back the way this way and don't you stay with anybody a stop to eat or anything that was coming back and the other profiteers. He's in town who was bypassed. Incidentally, God had to find a different profit so the lying prophet was bypassed. He approaches the solid profit and he's another guy they gave me a vision is line company and he's eating and I will easy need cries out the lying prophet cries out with the true probably all going to die. You should not have been here and of course the lion kills him. The true prophet and you shake your head and you say let me not try to put God in a box.
Let me operate within the confines that he has surrounded me with through his word.
Hopefully that will keep me courageous and not so self-righteous and judgmental their times we have to judge a person who's impenitent is judged by their actions we just ratified well. These events God using these false love these unbelievers and backslidden profit does not exonerate them or condone their lifestyle. There still guilty. It just means God can overrule when he is good and ready witch and Endor. Again, one of the great ones were God, just as you break this party up and she see that coming show love that. Anyway, if he if he is not permitted.
Rule in the heart take control when he needs Gideon is going through this whole thing is he hears this he now feels, of course, strong God is with him reason why he had to be there in the first place is because he factored God out a limited God and that fact was factoring him out.
We do it. I do it and I wouldn't believe anybody says he never did. It was a never try to do anything for the Lord you do anything the Lord you going to come into contact with opposition asked the Lord and God in the garden of Gethsemane. Any place that wouldn't the Lord say he said my soul is troubled before he got to the garden, but unless a grain of wheat dies falls to the ground and dies, it brings with no fruit move.
Thanks for tuning into 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 will find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there and 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 out for 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