06/20/21 – Power, Promises, and Patience

25 That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night. 28 When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built. 29 And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And after they had searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” 30 Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.” 31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.” 32 Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar. 33 Now all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and they crossed the Jordan and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him. 35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them. 36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, 37 behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.
‭‭Judges‬ ‭6:25-40‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I. God’s Power Seen in the Church
A. Power is fully seen when it uses the weak to do the impossible.
B. God uses nobodies to bring to nothing the somethings of this world. (1Corinthians 1:26-29).
C. What the world says is last, God uses to win first.

II. God’s Promises Spoken to the Church
A. As Gideon was promised Hell would not prevail against him, so is the church (Matthew 16:15-19).
B. As Gideon was clothed not with armor but the Holy Spirit in his battle, so is the church. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
C. As Israel gathered to Gideon for a decisive battle at the blow of a trumpet, so will the church to Christ for the final decisive battle.

III. God’s Patience Stays with the Church
A. As God answered Gideon’s prayers to reassure him, He answers the prayers of the church for the same reasons, too.
B. As God was patient with Gideon because Gideon was made of dust, He is patient with us, too, never forgetting we are made of dust, even if we do. (Psalm 103:13-14)
C. As God comforted Gideon with prophecy about the certainty of the future, He has given us this same gift of grace.

IV. God’s Praises Soar from Using the Church
A. As God would give victory to Gideon in a way where He got all the glory, He gives victory to the church in the same way.
B. As Gideon and his army were chosen because of their weakness, so is the church, because God uses what is weak to win His war.
C. As God used lights in clay pots to defeat Gideon’s enemies, He still uses light in clay pots to wage war with His enemies. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)

Fighting to the Finish Judges 7:24-8:35