Gideon (Part 1)

Gideon 1. Gideon is listed among the heroes of faith for the encouragement of our faith. HEB 11:32-34. 2. His account is in JDG 6-8. 3. The judges were called saviours. NEH 9:27. 4. Gideon was a judge and saviour by an imperfect faith compared to Christ, the Judge and Saviour of perfect faith. JOH 8:29 c/w HEB 11:6; HEB 2:13; LUK 23:46. 5. Gideon is a study of how even a little faith may be used of God and blessed with increase. MAT 8:26; 14:31 c/w LUK 17:5. 6. The story of Gideon shows God's blessing upon faith to the overcoming of impossible odds, a fact we should remember when striving against sin or when witnessing. 7. Gideon means hewer or feller, an appropriate name for someone who cast down idols, groves, foreign and domestic opposition. Judges 6 vs. 1-6. 1. As was the usual cycle in the book of Judges, Israel decayed from a season of godliness and liberty into one of sin and bondage. 2. The Midianites were inveterate enemies of Israel who once aligned with Moab to seek Israel's destruction. NUM 22:4, 7. 3. They were descendants of a son of Abraham. GEN 25:2. A. The church has ever had its share of grief from unspiritual sons of Abraham. GAL 4:29; REV 3:9. B. The church has only endured what the true Saviour experienced. JOH 8:37 c/w MAT 10:25. 4. The name Midian means strife, and comes from a root word meaning brawling and contention. This accords well with their alter-identity as Ishmaelites. GEN 37:25-28, 36 c/w GEN 39:1; JDG 8:24 c/w GEN 16:12. 5. Moses once fled to Midian for sanctuary and married a daughter of the priest of Midian who was a reluctant “convert” to the Abrahamic religion. EXO 2:15-16, 21; 4:25-26. 6. The Midianites were known for their use of camels. JDG 7:12; ISA 60:6. 7. They were once all but extirpated by Moses. NUM 25:17; 31:1-18. A. We should not be surprised if God's church has to fight again with what was once overcome. GAL 4:19. B. This should remind us that unless sin in our members is completely mortified, it is likely to return and oppress. COL 3:5-6; ROM 8:13. C. This also sets forth a basic truth about the superiority of Christ over Moses: what Moses seemed to bring under subjection was not necessarily destroyed. So also the Law could not do what Christ alone could do. ROM 8:1-3. D. Also contrast, “And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel...” (v. 2) with MAT 16:18. 8. Instead of fighting, Israel went into hiding. v. 2. A. Sin had dispirited them, even as they had been warned. LEV 26:36-37 c/w PRO 28:1. B. The condemned heart lacks confidence. 1JO 3:21. C. We dare not let the face of opposition deter us from our spiritual battles. JER 1:17. D. We are commanded to be strong and to stand against the wiles of the devil, not retire to the dens and caves of our fears and lusts. EPH 6:10-11 c/w HEB 13:5-6; 1CO 15:58. 9. “And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites...” (v. 6). Gideon 6-3-12 Page 1A. Israel was oft guilty of spiritual adultery, as here (vs. 10, 28) and adultery tends to root out increase! JOB 31:12. B. What God had given them, they had offered to Baal so God took it away. HOS 2:8-9. C. God is yet the Governor among the nations (PSA 22:28) and those nations which abandon Him, His Word and His righteousness will suffer. PSA 9:17. D. We likewise suffer spiritual impoverishment because of worldly corruptions, entanglements and disregard of God and His Law. HOS 4:6; LUK 8:14; PRO 13:20; 1CO 15:33; REV 3:17; GAL 4:8-9. vs. 7-10. 1. Israel finally “...cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,” (v. 7). A. Interesting that they did not cry unto God because of their sins! Much suffering can be avoided by judging ourselves. 1CO 11:31. B. God might well have told them to call upon the gods they had chosen. DEU 32:36-38; JDG 10:13-14. (1) Quenching the Spirit may result in God withdrawing from us and turning us over to our own devices. EPH 4:30 c/w ISA 63:10; PSA 95:8-11. (2) “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (HEB 10:31). 2. God did not send them a Moses or a Joshua, nor did he send plagues upon the Midianites; He sent them a prophet to rebuke them. A. They cried to God; God cried back by a prophet. c/w ISA 58:1. B. A faithful prophet was at least as valuable to Israel as a powerful military. 2KI 13:14. C. What God's church has always needed to stave off trouble is faithful ministers. 2TI 4:1-5. Gideon 6-3-12 Page 2

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