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Gideon: God’s Choice (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2021 4:00 am

Gideon: God’s Choice (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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May 19, 2021 4:00 am

It’s one thing to say we trust in God and quite another to back it up with action. Gideon obeyed God even when asked to employ a military strategy that defied human logic. Find out what he learned by relying on God, on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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The military battle strength is often found in so why do the commander named Gideon dismissed thousands of soldiers before he led a charge against the Midianites today on Truth for Life Alastair Begg continues the message in Judges chapter 7 the teaches us about relying completely on the Lord hears Alastair and in verse two and following the end of chapter 7 God gives to him direction.

We noted it yesterday will return to it. Now the Lord said to Gideon, you have to many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands and then he explains in order that Israel may not boast against me become self-reliant boast that our own strength has saved her. If the first stage of the reduction is related to the morale of the Army, which it clearly appears to be, then what of this second stage of the reduction.

What is this about now as he is at this point we get into difficulties and is at this point that we start to get to know clever with our conjecture and we get into the lap or is versus the kneelers and we this is where we impress the people with all the thing about kneeling down and lapping in what the guy was looking while he was lapping or kneeling. While he was not looking at all this kind of stuff.

And frankly, we don't have a clue what you're talking about the foggiest idea in the world that were about because it doesn't say you see most of the most of the sermons in your preached on this have to do with somehow or another that this was a test looking for only the allure and all the dreamy and the careless were to go so we would just keep the alert ones and the alert ones were not those who were kneeling down we tell the people because of your kneeling down.

You couldn't be looking how we know that is is is you. This is another way you can kneel down but usually that sick but if you are lapping with the like. This, then you could be looking and so that's it. Well, long one of the ways if you ever thought about the fight that they might have been lapping the might have been a lion completely horizontal right, but the way we preach the passage we can have that because these are going to be the ones who are looking because God wouldn't want ones that are looking would you yes you might because if he wanted to make it absolutely clear that the reason for the victory was because of him. Then the most unlikely 300 would join with the most unlikely individual in order that God may be glorified in the other the people around might say how in the world to take place. God's now I just want to say this to you advising them when when we find ourselves asking why the lapping why lapping was the signing of a better soldier were on the wrong track died and were missing the whole point. And since you know you know grandfather George.

He always told us about the loppers seem to me were not agnostic enough income to the pricing we just assume that so we preach it your sensible man you've every right to disagree with me but think this out. Surely the object was to reduce Gideon's army to a force not all that particular kind but a force of a particular number. The issue is not the kind of people that were left. The issue was the number of people that were left. It wasn't that Gideon was trying to put together a small commando unit 300 of the best and the brightest, God is not in need of 300 crack troops. You see, he's not in need of the special and the strong and the loppers rather than the kneelers in the alert rather than the on alert goodness gracious, just look at your congregation. Look at your choir fear or doubt that God is a sense of humor. Just look at the choir.

These people not people there in the choir.

They always send me letters I all I'm saying is the average wire is a sort of microcosm of the congregation you look at those people you got a sort of small cross-section of the bigger group and you say, are we really going to turn the world upside down with us the answers. It's highly on likely. And God says I like it when it's that way to the problem that many of us are facing in our churches is where trying to get it in the position where it's highly likely we're reading all this stuff that tells us how to do it and what you put here and how you get three of those there in five and take away the number you force thought over and multiply by six, and before you know it's the 300 that are left are meant to be not an elite but a group so inadequate that when the battle is one no one Gideon the 300 the gang that laughed or the surrounding people will be in any doubt God did this and that's what incidentally worship is supposed to be about, and I know that I mentioned, the choir will just have a little detour for a moment.

What is a say in first Corinthians 12 or 14 wherever it is, the issue is why I know it's in 12 or 14. That's a start. Yes guys are tough and I says, the real issue is that man in coming into the encounter with the people of God will be cause to fall down on their faces and say, surely God is in this place that that would be the only explanation for what's going on, not the slickness of the methodology, not our ability to offer it to them at the lowest common denominator, not our ability to make it acceptable and amenable to them by the fact that here.

A group of people that are funny looking group of people that are no ordinary group of people that apparently not particularly influential.

There is something going on there and it is God is in this place and that you see what the issue is unit judges know how good of God having given this instruction to him to follow it up with a dream that he can hear there's a direction that he gives. And then there's a dream that Gideon hears Gideon has done what he's been told he takes the men down to the water, and so on. He sends the rest of the Israelites to their tents keeps the 308 go to gather up all the provisions in the trumpets and everything else quite a carry on another camp of Midian lay below him in the valley is the same thing that is said in Garcia won the camp of Midian was in the Valley and it's just a little reminder.

You know that the writer says now let's not forget about the camp below, in the valley and during the night. The Lord said to Gideon, get up and go down against the cam because I'm going to give it into your hands and then listen to this. If you are afraid to attack all how gracious of God. What a wonderful Shepherd and father, and counselor and guy you know I fitted menu and maybe what it said if if you are afraid to attack.

I'm scared spiritless to attack God. You see, bravery is not the absence of fear, is it just a rock climber how he is so brave to go up there without those safety things you say I'm not brave. It scares me to death. I simply conquer the feelings. Bravery is the harnessing of fear, the overcoming of fear, so it is not that that that that we are strong and useful when we can say oh I'm not afraid I'll go and do that.

I think the position is yet I am afraid, but the Lord comes to me says I want you to go down and I want to acknowledge that if you're afraid you may need a little more encouragement. I have provided you with recruits for your faith, but I'm not providing you with recruits for your forces. What a lovely teacher. He is kind if you're afraid strict go down a word of promise, a word of direction and you can take your servant pewter and listen to what they're saying. And afterwards you be encouraged to attack the camp so he and pewter his servant went down to the outposts of the camp.

Can you imagine what that journey was like I don't want to delay on it, but he and his buddy they go down and it is been described for is that these folks are everywhere.

It's all campfires and tenants and camels making noises in making other things that camels do and it's just it's just a huge panoply of daunting die mentions and they must've gone on that journey and as they crept into the camp and is the observed it all and as they found himself on the outposts they must be in sync.

Goodness gracious. What are we going to possibly do here.

The odds are overwhelmingly against us. Everything is stacked against goodness. When we asked the people if any were fearful. We had the whole 22,000 of them leave Florida stigmas down to 300 it's you and me pewter and were down here and pewter since Gideon should listen to in the here and talking in the tent the drove a bit closer to the tent and hear a guy talking to his friend sisters friend.

I had a dream and a round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force of the tent overturned and collapsed.

Imagine them just moving a little this is interesting. And then comes the interpretation, his friend responded. This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon, son of Joe the Israelite God has given the Midianites and the whole can into his hands, and God is in charge yet he's in charge you, not just in charge in the camp of the Israelites. He's in John's in the camp of the Midianites. God is in control. God is still on the throne as the old song says, and he will remember his own, though trials made pressers and burdens distresses. He never really was a low, the Lord God omnipotent reigns doesn't always seem so, but it is so that's why the hymn writer said he fearful saints, fresh courage take this guy is you so much dread are big with Lansing and will break with Massey on your head is going to take faith to believe that but that is exactly what it takes. Without faith it is impossible to please God, for anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him and Gideon is here the word of direction. He has responded in obedience.

He has not had the word in the dream, and interestingly enough, the responses when Gideon Herod the dream and its interpretation. He worshiped God. What a wealth is contained in that which we will allow silence to Passover.

He worshiped God, what did he do that he lie facedown on the ground to stand with his eyes towards heaven to lift his hands in the air. Did he sing a little chorus that he no what did he do. We don't know but we do know this, that in that moment, if never before. He had an almost overwhelming sense of the fact that eyes his servant as God's servant.

He wants to God as the prophet Zechariah says is the very apple of God's that God's concern for him. God's interest in him.

God's provision for in his purpose for him meant everything guy's pastoral ministry is not easy. You can move from place to place, but people reincarnate themselves and is never the nice ones and there's no ideal place to serve God except the police he sets us down, and it is a precious and a wonderful time when God is at work picks us up in the warmth of his embrace and he holds his close to his heart and eyes. In the words of Isaiah the prophet, he gently leads those who are young and there is something of that in this secret moment, there is Gideon does.

The only thing that it is right to do to worship God long before the words of the shorter Scottish catechism. He understands it that the chief end of Gideon is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

So whether he is a big group auto we group within his church is apparently influential with these vast numbers over that it is apparently insignificant with small number. He understands that one plus God is a majority.

And so it is that he returns to the camp and he says to them, get up's directive leadership must be direct tribute and go back to the cabin say okay guys.

Anybody got any bright ideas. Anybody that anything you would like to do. Not a good question to ask, because they might say we like to do what the other 31,700 just to so he says okay boys, let's go. Let's get up. Let me tell you how we going to do this. I want to divide you into three groups and Sam Samuel. Samuel Weir distribute the trumpets place and Levi and you gathered up some of the stuff from over there in that pile that you made when the other chaps went home and can you make sure that everybody has got a jar and will you Benjamin, will you take care of the torches fortress.

Now here's what were going to do. Are we going to incidentally verse 17 he says it. Follow me watch me follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp. I want you to do what I do and then this is what he says now. I hope you can handle this fellows instructions are are are clear, but I want you to listen. This is what is necessary for this victory to take place. You gotta be able to blow the trumpet breaker jar and shine your torch. Can you imagine if you'd be one of the 300 Gideon.

We started off with 32,000. Here a couple days ago you got it down to 300 how unaware we are still here.

We don't know we just had our heads in the bucket and you said you read out Gideon. We know that God is been speaking to you we been hoping that because you're our leader, and apparently you had a peculiar session with them last night and Puro tells us that you were really in touch, and as a result of that we have been waiting here with baited breath when you came back and woke us up in the morning and as we look down at this vast company with all these fires and camel sums and people we were anticipating Gideon that you would have a really good strategic plan for the future of our church. We would have thought that it would have at all. The acumen and wisdom that we have come to expect in the approach of contemporary evangelicalism when you come up and wait does not understand is up and tell us here's what you've got to be able to do. You gotta build a bloodier trumpet breaker jar and shine your torch is that it what military expertise is necessary for this victory. None none the fighting would involve others brought back in later on, but in this initial encounter. The Midianites were going to do it to themselves even need crack troops to fight. He needed faithful guys who would stand up, blow the trumpet smash the jar and shine the torch. I don't want to violate my own principles known spiritualize the thing away at the end but the fact of the matter is, it really comes down to that kind of dependence in our day. Jesus said, let your light so shine before men, he said you got a treasurer and an old clay jar. How about smash in the jar your fat head Alastair beg we could smash that down a little. That would be really important and you prepare to shout member. The story of the was a Gypsy Smith Gypsy Smith said if they tell me if they tell me that I can't shout and I can preach and the enclose me in a battle.

Then I will shout glory out of the bunghole. So God looks on his servant, and he says here what we going to do now you know that the end of the story is quite remarkable. Loved ones. I need to say to you that I think the greatest danger that we face is the danger of self-reliance.

I think that we've imbibed so much of the spirit of our generation that we have forgotten that God's plan is very different from our son. With this I close brothers. Think of what you wear when you were called know many of you were wise by human standards, not many would influential not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are why so that no one may boast before I think it is distinctly possible that God looks down is aware on the potential armies of evangelicalism and he says you are too many because of the moment, you're tempted to rely on your own abilities and to take credit for your own successes and I want share my glory with another may the Lord help us to think these things out. Father I pray that you will save us as pastors from imagining standard at which we do not ourselves live and then calling out people to live at that standard, and by doing so disheartening then and deceiving ourselves. We pray that in our day and in our generation. You will teach us again what it means when Jesus said, apart from me you can do nothing, that are in need of him is not partial but total and then Lord take us without torches and doll Oakley parts and with the trumpet as it were of your word and in all of our inadequacy and in all of our fear users to your great glory. We pray for Jesus sake. We have to learn how we can completely rely on the extreme challenge that goes against the grain of our self-sufficiency. Your listing to Truth for Life with Alastair beg as Alastair said earlier today. One plus God is a majority. That's an important truth for us to cling to. And it's important for us to teach our children that truth as well.

That's why were so excited about our current book offer to book called the God contest. This is a colorfully illustrated children's book that cleverly retells the story of Elijah's challenge to the people in his day to believe in the one true God. But the book doesn't end with that story.

The author fast forwards to Jesus arrival on earth and shows us how Jesus victory over death sets the stage for the ultimate God contest.

No love the conversations that this book sparks as it ends with the question about what it means to join team Jesus request your copy of the God contest today you donate to support the Bible teaching you here on Truth for Life. You can give through our mobile app Truth for call us at 88858878.

If you'd rather mail your donation along with your request for the book right to Truth for Life at PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, Ohio 4413 about team.

Thanks for listing. Join us tomorrow as we learn about the only cure for a guilty conscience. The Bible teaching of Alastair beg is furnished by Truth for Life with learning is prolific

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