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Gideon: Seeing God’s Strength (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
August 17, 2022 4:00 am

Gideon: Seeing God’s Strength (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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August 17, 2022 4:00 am

Do you think you’re too weak to be used effectively by God? If so, then perhaps you haven’t accounted for His great power! Discover how God used Gideon’s weakness to confront evil and deliver an entire nation. Join us on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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There's a recurring pattern, judges, the Israelites continually ignore God's instruction and as a result, the continually fall into the hands of their enemies today on truth from Alastair Greg explains how on one occasion God used an unlikely fearful man named Gideon to deliver his people picking up in the book of Judges chapter 6 culture gets increasingly crazy. Common sense is at a premium and as the people of God, get increasingly confused. Common sense and spiritual theological biblical terms is increasingly at a premium.

There is in our generation and increasing lack of spiritual discernment as I move around I I find people wandering around going.

Does anybody here know what's going on consultant he was going on, you're not listening to me that's the issue in Hebrews. That's why you have all these warning passages in Hebrews is not what's the great warning in Hebrews chapter 2 and verse one we must pay more careful attention.

Therefore, to what we have heard so that we don't drift away and what was a problem with the folks in chapter 4 it was that the message that they had that they had preached to them was of absolutely no value to them because although the hair that they did not combine it with faith. What akin to those who die in the wilderness with their fingers in their ears and their hands over their eyes and so says one commentator, in light of all of this, it is no coincidence that innumerable Midianites are sent as a punishment or the rejection of innumerable Maxis we have a difficulty fitting this into many of our theologies, but the Bible has no difficulty with her tall, it's not hidden in some covert somewhere in an obscure passage of Scripture. It sits on the very surface of Scripture, and I think it is actually an explanation as to where the church in the West is at the present time. Let me go quickly to us. Save one or two things about God's servant God's servant, because when you get to verse 11. It's no longer the prophet that speaking, you've got in the first six verses.

Incidentally, the narrator who is speaking, then in 7 to 10, you've got the prophet speaking and then in verse 11.

It's the angel who starts to speak and what we have in this angel is a pre-incarnate revelation of God, a theophany, Gideon doesn't immediately grasp it by by the time you get to verse 14 in verse 16 he is calling the angel Lord in this dramatic manifestation that we have and the angel of the Lord in verse 11 comes and sits down under the oak and off rock that belonged to Joe Ashley Abby is right now. The picture here is a graphic picture here. You've got this guy who, under normal circumstances would be doing what he ought to be doing out in the open air, namely thrashing the weeks and in the process of thrashing wheat in the open-air theater that casket up in the air and if there's any breeze, et al., the breeze would blow the chaff away. Someone and the grain which was heavier would settle down and would be retained and it was customary for that thrashing process to be taken place outdoors and in full view of anybody who may be passing by. But given the circumstances.

With these marauding Eastern peoples in the Amalekites and the Midianites, etc. at the people of God had been reduced to doing this is a covert operation and so we find this man Gideon and he is in a hole in the ground and he's going at his business thrashing is wheat in a wine press in order to keep it from the Midianites, presumably to keep the very sight of it from the Midianites and then to store it in a way that will be immediately accessible to them and as he goes on at his word. He is thrashing away and all of a sudden he must've had the sensation other was someone else just around him. As you sometimes get and he looks up and the angel of the Lord is sitting underneath this oak tree and the angel speaks to him and arrests him with this amazing greeting is one thing to be going about your business and meet an angel. I would guess it's the second thing if the angel says hey how you doing, but is heavy-duty if the angel the first words out of his mouth are. The Lord is with you, mighty warrior because he is this guy who's who is whatever he has. He sure doesn't look like a mighty warrior. He's hiding in a hole in the ground so that the mighty warriors don't find him. Otherwise he is going to be heightened in the hole in the ground anymore and an angel shows up and says the Lord is with you mighty warrior. There's an irony about this. There is a prophetic dimension to this. It is ironic in light of who the chap is and where he is and it is prophetic in light of what God does with someone when he sends his messenger to speak to them as they amazing thing about a call of God. God comes to the strangest of jobs in the weirdest of places sometimes oppressed and feeling the extent of that impoverishment and the first words that he speaks to is is hey the Lord is with you, mighty warrior, and you're looking over your shoulder say I know who is this being addressed. I didn't know there was somebody else in the room and the angel says no I'm looking at you. I'm looking at you see the callings of God. Never leave a man where they find him because when God calls us to move on if we try and stay stationary. We don't actually stay stationary will move back so once God has called you can never stay in the same place you either go forward with a legal bag without and the word of the Lord to them was hey the Lord's with you.

You're a mighty warrior and I love the response in verse 13. I hope your is encouraged by it as I am, but Sir Gideon replied, if the Lord is with us. Why is all this happened to us.

I don't get smog in all kind of pharisaical here jobs saying my my you know if I have an angel come to me and say the Lord is with you, mighty warrior, I would've said yes sir angel and I am with him and ready for service know you wouldn't know you wouldn't why you telling lies to yourself like that sit there, you big Pharisee and do that stuff.

This is good.

This is why this is in the Bible, but Sir has strange tension in this lot.

Sure, it's like, but Lord, if he is Lord there's no but you know yes Lord, no. But Lord, but Sir, why is all this happened in the Lord bring us up out of Egypt, but now he has abandoned us. He's put is in the hand of Midian. How wonderful it is to realize that when God puts his hand on the life of an individual. Some of that is about to use greatly. He's prepared to tolerate the silly questions that come out of our mouth. Even as he tolerates Gideon's was about to become apparent to Gideon into all of the people that God was as much in control of the People's abandonment as he was in control of their deliverance. The Lord is abandoned, as he put is in the land of Midian. He spoke truth there Are understood when he wrote to him. God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform. He plants his footsteps in the sea and he rides upon the storm judge not the Lord by feeble strength, but trust him for his grace behind a frowning providence.

He hides us :-) Gideon had something of an inkling of this and therefore there was an incongruity and it was supposed to be. There was a paradox in the greeting the Lord is with you mighty warrior.

He looks at himself and he says I'm not a mighty warrior and that was actually true, but it was prophetic of what he was going to become as God picked him up and used to the Lord turned to him and said go he asked the questions what is the Lord doing reply doesn't answer his questions. He says go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian send my not sending you again goal in the strength you have, what strength did he have even have any strength.

He was so aware of his weakness and he comes back and he says, but Lord you say go in my strength. How can I save Israel. My clan is the weakest in Manasseh. I'm the least in my family we see this is the story of the people of God. This is true of Gideon.

But it's also true of the people of God. Think of all the proud prophetic nations all in the times that led up to the end of the Old Testament and the great rising of Assyria and Mesopotamia and all these different places and they represented wealth and they represented wisdom and they had architecture in the hollowed in the ad might, and God's focus is on this funny little strip of land in this nondescript group of people, the spirit of the world is the spirit of Naaman you know is not something that I could do that. I thought you would come out and grant me a blessing you want me to go and dip myself in the Jordan, don't you realize who I am God says just do what I told you come across the inter-testament will. In into the New Testament. The looking for a Savior on a horse on a charge of the looking for my looking for power, looking for the overthrow of the Roman Empire and here he comes and he had no beauty that men would be attracted to the sheep before his shearers was dummy didn't open his mouth.

It was said you really going to save the world.

With this kind of stuff to same question that's on us today.

I'll come to that in just a moment. I don't want anticipate myself in verse 17 Gideon replied, if I find favor in your eyes. Give me a sign and the Lord gives him a sign he burns up his sacrifice and he continues to confirm that to them as he proceeds now in all of this stuff. The Lord is preparing his servant for the battle. You know the story where is the battle to be for well if you read this. The remaining section here in chapter 6, I think you may agree with me that the battle was to be fought on three fronts. First of all, to fight the enemy that was among them to fight the enemy that was among them that begins in verse 25 and it goes to verse 32 the same night.

The Lord said to him, take the second bull from your father's haired tear down your father's altar to bail and cut down the actual pole.

The pervasive influences of the surrounding godless culture. What in the Valley family of the servant of God are chosen to use and before we find ourselves again. Far too quick to speak in judgment. Let us stand back for a moment and ask ourselves the question, is it not true that we have met them at the enemy in one sense, and it is us that the real battle that we fight is a battle of an eroded holiness.

It is a battle of prevailing godlessness. It is a battle of an absorption of a culture. So much so that tolls are his words have no proof of reality rather than profanity. When from his grave visit where he still speaks to say the church is the best disguise set of programs that the world has ever seen.

Because we have been so inculcated in so much of what is around us and that was the first enemy to be addressed here.

You got the problem right in your own camp. He says you're going to have to tear down this poll you have to smash down this altar. You say well we have alters the smash. I think probably we have poles around which we gather. I think we must be honest to say we do the notion that security and comfort and enjoyment are suitable for us to bow before or even worse power and wealth and unbridled self-indulgence, says Wilcock. In every age there are forces at work, which promised to meet our desires political programs economic theories philosophical movements entertainment industries all having one feature in common.

They are big enough to do things for us that we can do for ourselves. Yet at the same time amenable to our manipulating them so that we might get from them what we want in the culture around them.

The water in which the boat was floating had seeped into the boat and the prevailing challenge to Gideon's folks at this point is the prevailing challenge in every generation on this one front Jesus that I don't pray that you take them out of the world, but I I pray that you keep them from the evil one, and the church, especially in the realm of evangelicalism has over history bounced between two extremes. On the one hand, isolationism, which makes is very sure of what we have to say. But there's no one to talk to on the other an absorption by the culture which gives us someone to talk to but leaves us with nothing to say and so God comes to his servant.

He says I want you to fight. First of all, the battle that is among you tear down the altar cut down the pole use the pole to burn the stuff was a hymn writer say the dearest idol. I have known whatever that idle be.

Help me to tear it from its throne and worship only the now the big mighty warrior. Verse 27 to 10 of his servants and did as he was told. Is there something there I think so too. They just wanted companionship and I don't think so. I think this is it. I think this is as tough as he was scared me, could you come with me please. Why, what does as he was afraid of his family and he was afraid of the men of the town and he did it at night rather than in the daytime to find it rising in your again that little little Pharisee response. The little lima really devoted one's coming up fall, I would've been afraid, I would've done it in broad daylight, get serious, your frame, sometimes to pray on the airplane. When you're having your meal because a person so close to you in coach that they're going to be. They might even get born again just listening to your prayer you doing all that scratching of your head stuff you know person guys looking like this young big zit on his head or something was what's the deal so notice he did it at night, but he did it says Davis. Obedience was essential.

Heroism was optional guys some of us are and are waiting to be heroes before we get obedience. Heroism is optional. I the Lord.

Take care Megan heroes. Let us take care of the business of being obedient. Go cut down the polls.

Go get a few of those idols you know what they are. I know what they are and that the enemy is among us enough.

The enemy is around is verse 33 to 35.

The Midianite action now came on the back of the Canaanites, thinking get rid of the Canaanites, thinking, and then deal with the Midianite activity again. Let me quote to move things to a conclusion if they trust one set of worldly forces to give them prosperity. They can hardly be surprised if another set takes their prosperity away. See that's with the people of God were doing. They were trusting on all these earthly things to answer the questions of their life. So God says you want to trust in that final want to turn it on your heads, and God ordains that those whose hearts are set on the Canaanite gods of peace and plenty, and comfort will regularly suffer the Midianite scourges of strife, deprivation and misery you want to have peace and comfort and prosperity in your seeking it over here. Fine. Let me bring that over on your heads for a while and even as God uses evil as a punishment to teach his people he calls Gideon to rise up and oppose the very evil that he uses as a punishment, but out of stretcher heads in the small group Bible study wanted write the very evil which God raises up to use as a punishment to bring his people into lying. He simultaneously raises up his servant to oppose the very evil that he is using himself as a punishment to bring his people into line God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform. And so he Gideon listens to the word, and he blows the trumpet and he blows the trumpet in let in light of the latest invasion and all the Midianites verse 33 in Amalekites and Eastern peoples.

They join forces in the crossed over the Jordan.

They camped in the valley of the Jordan and the spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet, you know, if you only had the first part of this of the verse in the spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he finish this sentence. You know, what would you say I don't think you would say and he blew a trumpet that I don't want to be unkind to any trumpet players here but blowing trumpets is not that big of a deal unless it's purposeful and of course it was. He blew the trumpet you want to be a trumpet blow or are you prepared to blow the trumpet you prepared to stand up for what is right against everything that is manifestly wrong.

You prepared to stand up and call homosexuality a perversion. Not not an alternative lifestyle. Are you prepared to deal first on my prepared to deal first with the enemy that is among my prepared to deal with the enemy that is around, and lastly my prepared to deal with the enemy that is within.

Gideon said to God, if you will save Israel by my hand as you promise.

Look up Lisa Wolf lease on the threshing floor. If there's due only on the fleece in all the right, you know all that stuff you preach sermons on it you can remember what you said about it because frankly you are not clear about what you are saying about it.

Remember, I knew that it dry when it was supposed to be wet in wet winter supposed to be dry and goodness gracious, yet it all over the place and people people have no clue what was going on and you wish you never even mentioned it in the first place and you should and you probably shouldn't of done because it's only a very tiny part of the bigger picture but you read in one of the old Keswick books a great sermon on the fleece squeezing the fleece and so you determined to do it as well. I suggest you don't do it again. It was a special it was a special case to which God responded in a special way and his broad sweep is for us to be obedient what he is already made clear not to sit around and try to get things wet or dry so that he can do special deals, forms, but God was really nice really kind to Gideon because he knew the Gideon was fearful and he takes the fearful servant, and he picks him up and is about to use them. I will come to that tomorrow. Let me let me give you a final illustration of a fearful servant November 21, 1873 Dwight L. Moody reaches Scotland and one of the biographer says Scotty's people are eminent for their knowledge of theology. He would edify a congregation of Scotsmen must come to them with the beaten oil of the sanctuary imported from vessels of a proper untraditional form. He should be a man of high attainments and learning. The stamp of some college should be upon him, and more than all he should come with the endorsement of some eminent body of Devine's.

All these things were lacking in Mr. Moody if there were any preacher in all the world who is likely to be rejected in Scotland. Aside from the power of God, which attended him Dwight L. Moody was that man God came to he said he Moody my mighty warrior in the farewell meeting of Moody and Sankey was held on the slopes of Arthur seat a big knoll of grants that you've seen on chariots of fire. When Eric and his sister walk out there and talk to one another's down behind Holyrood palace of the bottom of the Royal mile. The farewell meeting of Moody and Sankey was held in the slopes of Arthur seat. No building being a tall adequate to accommodate the vast congregation from the historic seat of Christianity which they had entered in fear and trembling. They went forth with joy in their hearts.

Why, because God in the immensity of his purpose to redeem a people for himself decided to pick up an interesting chat in the midst of his days, and have employees trumpet, so to those of us who feel overwhelmed by the enemy who feel crushed by our own sense of weakness and to those of us who have become increasingly self-reliant made these thoughts random as they are turns again to the Scriptures and again to Christ who makes his power clear in the very obvious nature of our weakness.

It is the promise of God's word that we can count on Jesus to display his power in the midst of our weakness listing to Alister Bragg on truth, the better we understand the Bible and the more we realize all that God is done for his people, the easier it becomes to trust his promises. That's why we teach the Bible every day Truth for Life. We trust God to work through the teaching on this program to encourage pastors to build up local churches to bring unbelievers to a saving knowledge of Christ and help believers continue to grow in their faith growing in faith involves the ongoing practice of learning more about God and one of the ways we do that is by studying his attributes as they are revealed to us in the Bible to help with that. We want to suggest a book titled God is a devotional guide to the attributes of God.

This book presents a 5 to 6 page daily reading on 26 different characteristics of God. The author makes a point to show how these characteristics are clearly revealed in Jesus and at the end of each attribute discussion. He also gives practical suggestions for how we can apply what we've learned to our everyday lives.

Request your copy of the book God is when you give a donation today, you'll find it in the app you can visit us and if you request the book God is with your donation today you'd like to purchase extra copies to share with others or for your church find them in our online store available for purchase are cost books are available only while supplies last. So it's best to purchase extra copies.

While the book is being offered is Truth for Bob Lapine. Thanks for listening. Tomorrow will find out why parental authority is absolutely vital for a stable society Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life learning is for looking

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