This is Word Alive. My name is Brenda Critchley and Derek Stringer is with us one time once more to take a transition from the Bible and allow it talk into our lives today.
Here ‘s Derek.
I grew up reading amusing books about superheroes. I remember reading about Superman, Batman and Spiderman. I ever dreamed about being a superhero. I was ever intrigued by how the swot was transformed into butch adult male and somehow the geek ever ended up with the gorgeous miss.
Superheroes are still popular today. I have n’t kept up with the new action figures but I ‘m happy that the old standbys are hitting the large screen.
When I was a Church Pastor I would frequently hold the kids coming up to me at the terminal of a service to give me their latest gag.
You know the sort of thing:
Where does Spiderman travel for information? Answer:
The web of class!
Today we ‘re traveling to look at a adult male named Gideon who could be classified as a geek when we ‘re foremost introduced to him. He goes through a important metabolism, but alternatively of acquiring spot by a genetically altered spider, his life is transformed by an brush with the Almighty.
In Hebrews 11, we find the “ Hallowed Hall of Faith, ” a listing of God ‘s religious superheroes. Gideon ‘s name is found at that place.
God loves to utilize ordinary people like Gideon to carry through extraordinary things. That means He wants to utilize people merely like you and me.
We have Derek ‘s series through cardinal events of the Old Testament recorded and available. There are besides transcripts we can direct you. I ‘ll give inside informations at the terminal of the programme.
But, allow ‘s acquire into the narrative.
The Midianites had a secret arm. That secret arm they had was called a camel, because at this phase in Israeli history, they did n’t truly cognize what camels were. The good thing a camel could make was walk 300 stat mis without necessitating H2O and if that did n’t work, you could merely look at a camel and it would “ ugly ” you to decease!
The Midianites were 135,000 strong and armed to the dentitions and they had a batch of camels.
Now here ‘s hapless Gideon: A justice. Judges were impermanent leaders in this clip in the history of Israel. God frequently calls people who feel unqualified. Gideon said, “ Why are you naming me? I ‘m non a mighty adult male. I ‘m the weakest 1 in my folk. ”
Gideon laid out a fleece before the Lord. A batch of people talk about puting out fleeces, but Gideon is the lone one God of all time used a fleece with. God will uncover His will to us in alone ways. As Christians we have the Holy Spirit who speaks to us through the Bible through supplication through fortunes and through the church.
Some times we can take a expression at our lives and believe, “ What a waste. So much more could hold been achieved. ”
Steping back in clip we have some great lessons to larn on how to populate without wastage. We can acquire them from the life of Gideon as we continue in his narrative.
“ Early on in the forenoon, Jerub-Baal
( that is, Gideon )
and all his work forces camped at the spring of Harod. The cantonment of Midian was north of them in the vale near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, ‘You have excessively many work forces for me for me to present Midian into their custodies. In order that Israel may non tout against me that her ain strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fright may turn back and go forth Mount Gilead. ‘ So 22 thousand work forces left, while 10 thousand remained. ”
Here they were gathered, about 135,000 Midianites in the Valley of Jezreel, which by the manner is what we call The Plain of Armageddon today, where the concluding struggle of the universe is traveling to take place-the most perfect battleground on the face of the planet and Gideon calls all of the Israelites to garner together for a conflict.
How many show up? Thirty-two 1000. They are already outnumbered about 4 to 1 – 32 1000 against one hundred and 35 1000 but God looks at that figure and he says, “ You have excessively many because if 32 thousand round an ground forces of one hundred and 35 1000, you are traveling to state, ‘Look at what we did! Look how powerful we are! ‘ So God said, “ You have excessively many. We have to cut that figure down. ”
Here ‘s the first thing we are traveling to larn: God can make great things with a committed few!
God can take a little group of committed people who are wholly sold out and he can make marvelous things.
I want to travel on to the 2nd lesson we are traveling to larn, because it ties in with the first 1.
Number two: God frequently tests us in the simple affairs of life.
Gideon said, “ Anybody who ‘s afraid, go place! ” Twenty-two 1000 of them left, go forthing 10 1000. Gideon looks at the 10 1000 and he says, “ Well I know that ‘s non about every bit many and now the odds are about 14 to 1, but possibly we can make it. ” God says, “ I ‘m non through yet. ”
“ But the Lord said to Gideon, ‘There are still excessively many work forces. Take them
down to the H2O, and I will sift them for you at that place. If I say, ‘This one shall travel with
you, ‘ he shall travel ; but if I say, ‘This one shall non travel with you ‘ he shall non travel. ‘ So
Gideon took the work forces down to the H2O. There the Lord told him, ‘Separate those who lap the H2O with their linguas like a Canis familiaris from those who kneel down to imbibe. ‘ Three hundred work forces lapped with their custodies to their oral cavities. All the remainder got down on their articulatio genuss to imbibe. ”
Expression at the Numberss. Ten thousand of them went down to imbibe. Nine 1000, seven hundred of them got down on their custodies and articulatio genuss, put their faces in the H2O and slurped the H2O up. Merely three hundred were argus-eyed plenty to flex down with their blade in one manus, looking around for the enemy and imbibing the H2O. God said, “ That ‘s the trial! And the 1s who passed the trial are the 1s I am traveling to utilize. ”
Expression at verse 7.
“ The Lord said to Gideon, ‘With the three hundred work forces that lapped I will salvage you and give the Midianites into your custodies. Let all the other work forces travel each to his ain topographic point. ‘ ”
This is astonishing! Would n’t you believe if you were traveling into conflict, you would seek to take as many people as possible? Thirty-two 1000 show up. “ Anybody who is afraid, travel place! ”
Talk to work forces who have gone into conflict and merely about everybody is afraid. Twenty-two 1000 of them were honest adequate to state, “ I ‘m afraid! ” and they go place go forthing 10 thousand. Ninety-seven hundred of those are excluded until there are merely three hundred.
The point I want you to understand is God was utilizing a simple small affair like how they drank H2O to prove them about whether or non they could be depended upon. God sometimes uses the really simple, ordinary experiences of life to prove us.
A adult male was the caput of a multi-national concern and had merely come from the council chamber on the top floor of a skyscraper. They had talked about advancing a certain adult male who was at that clip in in-between direction. They had merely spent an hr speaking about his makings. They were ready to offer this adult male a significant rise and publicity. After the meeting broke up, they all went down to the company
cafeteria that was in the cellar of the edifice. The adult male said he happened to acquire in line behind the adult male they had been speaking about advancing. As they were traveling through the company cafeteria line, this adult male took a little rap of butter and conceal it under his serviette, non cognizing that the adult male behind him had merely been speaking about advancing him. They went through the line and he did n’t pay for the butter. The adult male went back upstairs and said to the executives, “ That ‘s non our adult male because any adult male that would steal a rap of butter would steal from our company if given an chance. That employee ne’er knew that he was being watched and that simple act of concealing a rap of butter merely approximately ruined his hereafter.
God takes the simple things of life and trials us.
That ‘s astonishing, because I have been to this really topographic point in Israel and you can see today this spring where this H2O is. In order to acquire to this spring you have to come down out of the stones out of the mountains and at that place gathered on the hillside and in the vale were these 1000s of Midianite soldiers.
The Bible says they were every bit many as locusts out on the field.
Which means of class, to imbibe they were in full position of the enemy, but some of these people did n’t care they were so thirsty, they merely got down and imbibe. What was God seeking to learn Gideon?
What was he seeking to learn these people? The New Testament message is this “ Be serious. Be argus-eyed, because our enemy, the Satan, roams about like a howling king of beasts seeking whom he may devour. ” You and I every bit Christians like these three hundred faithful must be argus-eyed.
Here ‘s the 3rd lesson we must larn: Our greatest arms are faith and obeisance.
Here ‘s the scenario. God says, “ Gideon, I want you to take three hundred work forces. ” They
are outnumbered four hundred and fifty to one. Here are the waies Gideon gave the soldiers ”
“ ‘Watch me, ‘ he told them. ‘Follow my lead. When I get to the border of the cantonment, do precisely as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our huntsman’s horns, so from all around the cantonment blow yours and cry, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon. ‘ Gideon and the hundred work forces with him reached the border of the cantonment at the beginning of the in-between ticker, merely after they had changed the guard. They blew their huntsman’s horns and broke the jars that were in their custodies. The three companies blew their huntsman’s horns and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left custodies and keeping in their right hands the huntsman’s horns they were to blow, they shouted, ‘A blade for the Lord and for Gideon! ‘ While each adult male held his place around the cantonment, all the Midianites ran, shouting out as they fled. When the three hundred huntsman’s horns sounded, the Lord caused the work forces throughout the cantonment to turn on each other with their blades. The ground forces fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah every bit far as the boundary line of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. ”
They fought the conflict without conventional arms. Can you conceive of Gideon as he was garnering his ground forces of three hundred around him stating, “ Okay, boys. It ‘s clip to travel into conflict.
Here are your arms. ” What would you anticipate a group of three hundred rangers to utilize as they go into conflict? Have you seen those Rambo films? I imagine these three hundred Israeli rangers thought they would acquire a lance for one manus, a blade for the other manus and a bow and pointers and a shield. But alternatively Gideon says, “ Okay, here ‘s your cornet! Here ‘s your clay jar and here ‘s your torch. ” They said, “ What? ” He said, “ That ‘s right! You do n’t even acquire a blade. This is what we want you to make. Divide up into three groups, with one hundred in each group. Surround the cantonment and when you hear me, blow the cornet, interrupt the jar and cry.
Keep up your torch blow the cornet and cry once more. ” Now this was in the center of the dark. All the Midianite soldiers were in their collapsible shelters kiping. It is acquiring near to midnight. The guard has merely changed. Peoples are merely settling down. Suddenly,
they hear the sound of three 100 huntsman’s horns!
Make you cognize what they thought?
In a normal ground forces, you possibly had one cornetist for about a 1000 soldiers. So when they heard three 100 huntsman’s horns, they thought there must be at least three hundred 1000 soldiers! Then when those three hundred clay jars broke, can you conceive of that sound? That sounded like the clinking of blades and spears together. They ‘re believing, “ There must be 1000s of them out at that place! ” Then, they held up the torch and possibly they thought, “ one torch carrier for another 1000 soldiers. ” Then they heard the cheering and sound of the huntsman’s horns once more. Panic and pandemonium set in! They jumped up, grabbed their blades and every shadow became an enemy and they started floging out and the Bible says they killed each other.
The whole clip Gideon and his ground forces stood in the Fieldss watching the whole thing-and non a 1 of them was injured!
That ‘s one of the most astonishing conflicts and triumphs in the Bible.
It surely is. And do you cognize who got the glorification and the recognition? God did! Not the soldiers.
I want you to understand that when we enter into religious warfare ; we do n’t utilize conventional arms either. Paul makes it clear that the “ Weapons of our warfare are non animal or animal, but are mighty unto God to the drawing down of fastnesss. ”
When we talk about religious warfare in which every one of us is involved, we do n’t utilize normal arms. We do n’t utilize existent blades ; we do n’t utilize our fists ; we do n’t kick with our pess ; and we do n’t seize with teeth with our dentitions. We have other arms.
Harmonizing to Ephesians our arms are “ aˆ¦the helmet of redemption and the blade of the spirit, which is the word of God. ” Our religion is a shield we hold up against the ardent darts of the Satan. Our pess are shod with the conflict boots of the readying of peace. We have environing our Black Marias the aegis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Our legs are protected by the word of truth. On our caput we are protected by the head of Christ, the helmet of redemption. Our arms are non normal they are non conventional-but they are mighty to God!
Expression at the religious significance of the three things they did and what it means to each one of us.
Here ‘s the application.
The huntsman’s horns represent daring. That means if you want to hold triumph in the religious life, you ought to be bold. A cornet announces something. It says, “ Something is coming! ” It represents daring. Today we need work forces and adult females who are traveling to be bold for God. It does n’t take a brave adult male to travel and sit out in the cold and cheer for some football squad, it takes a brave adult male to travel out and speak to person about Jesus Christ.
A cornet represents religious daring.
The clay jars represent religious brokenness.
In Psalm 51:17 King David prayed this Psalm of penitence after the prophesier, Nathan confronted him with David ‘s wickedness of criminal conversation with Bathsheba. David said, “ aˆ¦a broken and remorseful bosom, O God, you will non contemn. ”
Brokenness in the Christian life is when the large “ I ” of self-importance is dead set and broken until it becomes a nothing and so it is reformed into a “ C ” for Christ.
We have a word in our English linguistic communication that comes from working with Equus caballuss. When a Equus caballus has ne’er been ridden, we say, “ That Equus caballus has n’t been broken. ” But do you cognize what it is to take a Equus caballus and convey approximately brokenness in it? It means you bring about entry to authorization. When a Equus caballus is broken, it can be ridden and directed by a bridle and reins. That Equus caballus is no less strong. That Equus caballus is no less olympian than it was before-it was broken ; it can now be controlled. For a individual to genuinely be broken does n’t intend they are weak. It means they can be guided and directed by the Holy Spirit.
In our economic system when something is broken, we think it is worthless. When a telecasting is broken, if you do n’t desire to repair it, you throw it off. When a dish or a disk is broken, if you ca n’t repair it, you throw it off. But in God ‘s economic system, broken things are more valuable, because God uses broken things. The clay jars had to be broken for the visible radiation of the torches to be seen.
Jesus took those five loaves and two fishes from that small male child and broke them and blessed them.
Mary broke the alabaster box of aroma and the olfactory property filled the room.
And Jesus said, “ It ‘s non until my organic structure is broken for you that it is deserving anything. So, “ broken ” in the Christian life is really valuable.
What about the torches?
Well, evidently, the torches represent brightness in the Christian life, how we ought to “ reflect for The nazarene! ” Philippians says, “ so that you may go blameless and pure, kids of God without mistake in a crooked and perverse coevals, in which you shine like stars in the existence as you hold out the word of lifeaˆ¦ ” You and I are to “ reflect for Jesus. ”
Jesus said, “ You are the visible radiation of the universe! ” He besides said, “ I am the visible radiation of the universe ” Which is right? Is Jesus “ the visible radiation of the universe ” or are we “ the visible radiation of the universe ” ? The reply is “ yes. ” Jesus is the 1 who radiates the glorification of God like the Sun. We, like the Moon, merely reflect the glorification of Jesus Christ. That ‘s what we ought to be making, reflecting the glorification the brightness and the glare of the Lord Jesus.
So in the huntsman’s horns we see the daring that ought to be ours in the Christian walk. We see the brokenness and the brightness that ought to be ours.
I wish I could state you that is the terminal of the narrative.
I wish I could state Gideon and the ground forces won the conflict and everyone lived merrily of all time after. But that ‘s non the terminal of the narrative. Is n’t it sad that in the Bible that there are so many people who start out great and stop up icky?
It was true of Solomon, the wisest adult male who of all time lived. The Bible said in his old age his married womans turned his bosom from God.
And what about Saul? In the Old Testament Saul stood caput and shoulders above everybody else? He started out as the anointed male monarch of Israel and became so kinky he ended up confer withing a fortune Teller.
And what about Noah? After he built an Ark and delivered those animate beings and his household through the inundation, he got drunk exposed his nudity to his household and ended with a expletive upon his household.
Gideon did n’t stop good.
That leads us to our concluding lesson I want to portion with you.
Even after success, failure is possible.
I would non be a true Teacher of the Word of God if I did n’t portion with you the last chapter of Gideon ‘s life. Obviously, Gideon was a hero.
“ The Israelites said to Gideon, ‘Rule over us-you, your boy and your grandson-because you have saved us out of the manus of Midian. ‘ But Gideon told them, ‘I will non govern over you, nor will my boy regulation over you. The Lord will govern over you. ‘ And he said, ‘I do hold one petition, that each of you give me an earring from your portion of the loot. ‘ ( It was the usage of the Ishmaelites to have on gilded earrings ) They answered, ‘We ‘ll be glad to give them. ‘ So they spread out a garment and each adult male threw a ring from his loot onto it. The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen 100 boodles.
[ That ‘s about 50 lbs ]
non numbering the decorations, the pendents and the violet garments worn by the male monarchs of Midian or the ironss that were on the camels ‘ cervixs. Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by idolizing it at that place, and it became a trap to Gideon and his household. ”
An ephod is a fancy apron worn by the high priest and the high priest merely. There were some pockets in this ephod that was worn by the high priest at the Tabernacle and in these pockets were kept urim and the thummim by which they determined God ‘s will by. There was merely to be one ephod worn by one high priest associated with one Ark of the Covenant with one Tabernacle. At this clip the Ark of the Covenant was in Shiloh, where the Tabernacle was, but Gideon must hold said, “ We do n’t necessitate to travel all the manner to Shiloh.
Listen. We can merely idolize God our ain manner. Let ‘s make our ain thing! ” “ I do n’t necessitate to travel to church to run into God on Sunday. I can idolize God out on the golf class. Let ‘s merely do it my manner! ” So he made a gold ephod, put it in his hometown and they bowed down and worshiped this ephod as if there was something charming and cryptic about it. The Bible says they prostituted themselves before it. They sold themselves to it! And it became a trap non merely for Gideon, but for his household.
Now did n’t it sound good? “ I wo n’t be your king merely give me your gold. ” it sounds like the Tax Office, does n’t it. “ Merely give me your gold. ”
Make you cognize what Gideon named his boy? He named his boy Abimelech, which translated agencies, “ my male parent is the male monarch. ” So seemingly, even though he tried to avoid the enticement, he fell into the trap and the trap of luxury of wealth of giving in to the worship of the people.
The Satan has set a trap-perhaps many snares-for every Christian listening right now. If you are non careful, you ‘ll do the same error Gideon made.
The Christian life is a race and I hope to God that when I get close to the finish line, I will be sprinting to the finish line and I hope to God that when you approach your finish line, you wo n’t be sitting down.
You wo n’t be falling into the error Gideon fell into or Noah fell into or Saul fell into or Solomon fell into, that you ‘ll be sprinting to the finish line so when you cross that finish line, you can make so with a spirit of triumph!
You do n’t hold to complete bad, but you need to maintain your eyes on Jesus who is our finish line the writer and closer of our religion.
If you keep your eyes on Jesus, you can complete strong!
Thank you Derek.
You have been listening to Word Alive produced by the Good News Broadcasting Association with Bible Teacher Dr Derek Stringer.
Derek travels a great trade to prophesy and learn the Word of God. If you find that he is in your country why non travel to listen to him.
You can listen to him at the Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire October 6 to 8. He is joined by Broadcasters and Bible Teacher Rob Frost ad Doug Barnett for a particular weekend of Bible instruction. You can go to for the whole weekend which starts on the Friday eventide and coatings on the Sunday afternoon. Or, you can come for a twenty-four hours.
Merely inquire us for inside informations and we ‘ll be glad to assist.
In fact, we want to assist in any manner that we can. It ‘s ever an encouragement to hold a call from you, an electronic mail or a missive. It means a batch to us to cognize that this broadcast is assisting feed you from the Word of God.
And of you have a supplication petition, we do meet as a staff to pray.
Please acquire in touch.
We ‘re back once more in the following edition of Word Alive with more from cardinal transitions in the Old Testament in this current series we call God ‘s Simulator.
I hope that you ‘ll be able to fall in us once more. I ‘m Derek Stringer.
And I ‘m Brenda Critchley.
Good-bye for now.