07(Judges 06,11-32) Hiding
The Secret to Significance
To have significance is to have meaning, purpose. It is to be important or influential. Admit it or not we all desire significance. We set childhood goals toward growing up with meaning, not irrelevance. We want to be doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs. We want to be president. We want to star on the football team. We want to matter.
But then life takes a turn and we find ourselves struggling through failures and setbacks. Our size keeps us from starring on the team. Our grades keep us out of law school. We settle for less, we call it, and secretly wonder what went wrong. We struggle for significance.
But sometimes the opposition comes from the outside, the Midianites. The Midianites raid our fields and steal our plans. They come in the form of competition that steals our client base, in the form of changes in technology that render our career outmoded and unneeded. The Midianites take away our savings by having us cash in the nest egg to pay for the mistakes of others. The end result is the same: we settle for less and secretly wonder what could have been. We struggle for significance.
Gideon was not big enough to star on the team. He did not come from a prominent family, so there was no hand out or hand up to be offered. And the Midianites came. In fact they came every year, to ransack his property and glean the best of what he had grown. Gideon had learned to settle for less. His family had lived in the mountain caves for nearly seven years and struggled to get by.
What were strange were all the ancestral stories that he had heard as a child, back when he was allowed to dream big dreams and make big plans. He grew up with an assurance that he belonged to God and that God would protect him from evil people.
They were having to live like refugees; always having to look over the shoulder; always trying to hide what food they could save.
God will use the unlikely to show His power. He will use the unqualified and unmerited to display His mercy and strength.
Jephthah in Judges 11 is another example. The son of Gilead, he was driven out of his home as a child by his half-brothers because he was the son of a prostitute. Now God does not approve of prostitution. Neither did the self-righteous sons of Gilead, all legitimate children of Gilead. Yet God shows compassion for this son. We must remember that a child is a gift of God even if the circumstances of the birth are sin. God would use this son to deliver his people.
David was the least of his family. David, even his dad didn’t think he could possibly be king- but God didn’t see a shepherd boy, he saw a king.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." NKJV
When you studied Gideon in SS this morning you learned about a man with little going for him. He himself was fearful, so much so that he was hiding from himself as well as his enemies. His future was uncertain
The strength of Gideon was simply the presence of the Lord. The phrase that the Lord “turned to him” (6:16) may indicate that He revealed His glory much as He did to Moses.
This verse also shows clearly that it was the Lord who was visiting Gideon. Gideon’s response of ‘adonay’ may indicate he recognized the Lord or it may simply be translated ‘sir’.
§ Esther – a slave girl in a foreign land – who but God would have looked at her and said “she will save my people”.
§ Woman at the well – 5 husbands, living with another – comes in middle of day to avoid shame – evangelist to her entire town.
The life of Gideon serves as an example for all who desire to be used of God, who have a passion to do something significant for the kingdom.
I. There are no background checks with God.
§ Gideon was from the least likely family, and he was the least likely of that group (6:15).
§ His family was engulfed in idol worship. (6:25)
God desires to use you where you are right now. He calls to you from whatever hiding place you are in and offers you the kingdom. He offers a new beginning. He offers victory in Jesus, beginning with your obedience to Him right now. You don’t have to overcome your past first.
Know His presence.
Know His power.
Know his protection.
Know His purpose.