When we Don't Understand
When we Don’t Understand Judges 7:1- EBC 10/12/08
Vance Havner once said “God enable us thru faith to see the invisible, choose the imperishable and do the impossible”.
The really exciting thing about Gideon’s victory was his faith in action. What is the story of your faith in action? 1 John 5:4- our faith allows us to be over comers.
If we’re to be over-comers, and not be overcome, we need to understand and apply some principles.
I. God tests our Faith (7:1-8) Warren Wiersbe- “a faith that can’t be tested cant be trusted” J.G. Stipe said that faith is like a toothbrush: Everybody should have one and use it regularly, but it isn’t safe to use somebody else’s. God tests our faith for two reasons 1- to see if it is real or counterfeit and 2- to strengthen us for the tasks that lay ahead.
A. A strange happening (2)
1. Gideon you have too many people. Now lets look at human logic, I’m asking you to look at human logic because that’s how we look at things. – how many people did Gideon have? 32,000 (7:3).
a. How many did the enemy have? 120,000 (8:3).
b. Why is God doing this? Because he knows our hearts.
a. Deut. 8:12-17-
b. Isa. 40:29-
c. 2 Cor. 12:10-
2. God told Gideon why He was decreasing the size of the army: He didn’t want the soldiers to boast that they had won the victory over the Midianites. Victories won because of faith bring glory to God because nobody can explain how they happened. “If you can explain what’s going on in your ministry then God didn’t do it.
a. 2 Chron. 26:15-16-
3. First sifting- fear (3)
a. John Wesley- “Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin and love nothing but God, and I will shake the gates of hell!
4. Second sifting (4-6)-
a. Most expositors say the men who bowed down to drink were making themselves vulnerable to the enemy.
b. 1 Peter 5:8-
II. God encourages our Faith (7:9-15).
A. How grateful we should be that God doesn’t condemn us for our fear and doubts.
1. James 1:5-
2. Psa. 78:39; 103:14-
B. Although the battle had to be fought, Israel had already won
C. Warren Wiersbe- Christians who believe God’s promises and see Him do great things are humbled to know that the God of the universe cares about them and is on their side.
1. God wrote a whole chapter in Hebrew about people of faith that believed God and acted on His promises.
D. V.13-15- God confirms his promise
1. Barley- grain used primarily by the poor people. The barley cake image spoke of weakness and humiliation. This truth encouraged Gideon.
2. Notice one thing Gideon did- he worshipped the Lord- before the actual victory. He was so thankful for God’s goodness and mercy.
Warren Wiersbe- Before we can be successful warriors, we must first become sincere worshipers
III. God honors our Faith (7:16-25)
Faith is more than simply trusting God I believe it is also seeking God and having a desire to please Him.
A. Because of Gideon’s faith look what God did:
1. He gave him wisdom to prepare the army (15-18)
a. As Vance Havner said, faith sees the invisible (victory in a battle not yet fought) and does the impossible (wins the battle with few men and peculiar weapons).
b. Gideon’s plan was simple but effective. He gave each of his men a trumpet to blow, a jar to break, and a torch to burn. They would encircle the enemy camp, the torches inside the jars and their trumpets in their hands. The trumpets were rams’ horns (the shofar) such as Joshua used at Jericho, and perhaps this connection with that great victory helped encourage Gideon and his men as they faced the battle. At Gideon’s signal, the men would blow the trumpets, break the pitchers, reveal the lights, and then shout, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” God would do the rest.
2. He gave him courage to lead the army
The church today can also learn from this event and be encouraged by it. God doesn’t need large numbers to accomplish His purposes, nor does He need especially gifted leaders. Gideon and his 300 men were available for God to use, and He enabled them to conquer the enemy and bring peace to the land. The important thing is for us to be available for God to use just as He sees fit. We may not fully understand His plans, but we can fully trust His promises; and it’s faith in Him that gives the victory.