Monday, October 8, 2012

Sifted for God's Glory

The Account of Gideon from Judges 6-7


The entire Christian life is one continuous experience of trusting God. (See Proverbs 3:5-7)

Trusting God, shown through our obedience, allows God to maximize our influence.

Outline of Gideon’s Experiences

I.                   Gideon’s Circumstances (6:1-10)

A.   Cycle of disobedience and discipline (1-6).

B.   Crying out to the Lord (7).

C.   Call of the Word of God (8-10).


II.                Gideon’s Calling (6:11-27)

A.   The angel of the Lord appears (11-16).

B.   The angel of the Lord confirms (17-24).

C.   The angel of the Lord commands (25-27).


III.             Gideon’s Challenge (6:28-40)

A.   Tearing down his father’s altar (28-35).

B.   Testing the word from the Lord (36-40).


IV.            Gideon’s Crescendo (7:1-25)

A.   The man is sifted (1-8).

B.   The man is encouraged (9-14).

C.   The man is victorious (15-25).


 Faith is not demonstrated by fearlessness, but by obedience.  Gideon obeyed God despite his fears.  Over and over again, I find God’s call in my life stretching me to the breaking point, and I face situations full of fear and uncertainty.  Still, God calls me to obey, and I discover that, when I focus on obedience, He deals with my fears.

-         Gary Inrig, Hearts of Iron, Feet of Clay


What Gideon shows us about trusting God

1)      God will use our difficulties to build our faith.

2)      God will require us at times to do what seems unreasonable.

3)      God will require us to challenge the system and the status quo.

            Obedience, even in the darkness of night, produced results visible in daylight.

Gideon was challenged by the anger of the townspeople.  He experienced the transformation of his father.  And God displayed His strength through his life.

4)      God will lead us to do that which brings Him the most glory.

5)      God will strip us of all dependence on everything but Himself.

He does not build our self-confidence but our dependence upon Him.  God had to teach Gideon’s army radical dependence upon Him.  God is not interested in simply giving His People victory.  He is concerned with teaching us trust.  He strips us bare, taking us down to the place where we must depend on Him.  Then, in grace, He takes us by the hand and teaches us that we can trust completely in Him.  We need to learn the lesson of dependence so we may move on to learn the lesson of confidence.  We learn that we can do nothing without Him.  Then we delight to discover that we can rely completely on Him.  Having learned those great lessons, we are prepared for victory.

6)                God can send encouragement when we grow faint-hearted.

7)                 God works in the other camp on our behalf.

8)      God will show me what to do one step at a time if I obey Him.

God does not give us guidance as much as He gives us a Guide.  The word guidance does not occur in the Bible, but over and over I read of the Guide, the Lord Jesus, who personally leads and directs me.  That is how Gideon knew God’s will – by personal contact with the Lord Jesus.

Guidance is based on the principles and precepts of God’s Word.  Gideon did not know God’s will by putting out the fleece but by obeying the revealed Word of God.  Guidance is confirmed through the indwelling peace of God.   Trust Him.  Keep your eyes fixed on Him and follow where He leads (Psalm 73:23-24).

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