Text: Judges 6:11-16; 7:5-7,18-22
Prop: a clay jar and a candle, or a trumpet
Summary: The story of Gideon shows how God looks at our potential, not just the person we are right now. We should thank God for the many victories he provides in our life.
The story of Gideon comes from the book of Judges, Chapter 6 in the Bible. Gideon was a real person that God chose to lead his people from a period of disobedience and back into fellowship with God. Let me tell you the story of Gideon.
The children of Israel had done bad things and God caused them to be defeated by the Midianites for seven years. When the Midianites came they destroyed everything, including all the flocks of sheep and animals that the Israelites had. So they went into hiding. They hid in dens in caves and in mountains. They were hiding from the enemy. They were cowards. God sent a prophet to tell them he had delivered them from mighty enemies before and not to be afraid of the gods of the Amorites, but the children of Israel wouldn’t listen.
One day Gideon was beating wheat by the winepress. He was doing it to hide it from the Midianites. He was hiding from the enemy. Then an angel appeared to him and said an amazing thing: The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. Ha! The Lord certainly has a sense of humor. Here was poor Gideon, a coward, hiding out from the enemy and God called him a brave soldier! But do you know what? God wasn’t looking at the cowardly man standing before him. He was looking at Gideon’s potential, what he could be, if he only trusted God. God is like that. He doesn’t just see us as what we are, he sees what we CAN BE for him. Oh, if only we could look at each other that way and not be so judgmental of each other’s shortcomings.
God was very patient with Gideon when Gideon needed proof that it was an angel of God. He then led Gideon on a series of events that helped Gideon gain courage to do as God had told him: Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. The Bible says in Judges 6:34 But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet. When the Spirit of God gets a hold of us we can do mighty things. When the spirit of God got hold of Martin Luther King Jr., he led black people in America to demand their rights as equals. When God gets hold of us, we can stand to blow the trumpet of truth and do great things. Gideon was ready to lead an uprising against the Midianites, but God didn’t want the people to think they had done it in their own strength. So God told Gideon to cut back from an army of 22,000 to only 300 men. He chose the men that weren’t afraid and didn’t lap water from the creek like a dog, but kept a watchful eye and cupped their hands when they drank.
When the appointed time came for battle, God did most of the fighting. It was in the middle of the night. God had instructed Gideon to take pitchers with lamps inside them and trumpets for every man. When Gideon gave the signal, they all blew the trumpet, broke the pitcher and held up the torch or lamp. [show props] Then they shouted The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. This caused so much confusion in the camp that the Midianites turned on each other and killed each other. Some estimate that this little army of 300 men and the Lord defeated over 180,000 Midianites who lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude. God planned it that way so they wouldn’t start to brag that they had defeated them on their own. Clearly, it was God who gave them the victory. We need to remember that Jesus is always with us, but we need to give him the credit whenever we have moments of victory in life.
©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.