Judges 6, God Wants You To Be Part Of His Work
1. God Is With You And Will Be With You (v11-16)
2. God Wants You To Know He Is With You (v17-24)
3. God Will Train You For His Work (v25-32)
4. God Wants To Give You Confirmation (v33-40)
Judges 6, God Wants You To Be Part Of His Work
Judges 6, God Wants You To Be Part Of His Work
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Hey man, well as we look at judges Chapter 6 this evening, I've titled the message God wants you to be part of his work.
God wants you and you can maybe picture him pointing his finger at you.
God wants you to be part of his work here in the book of judges, we're continuing.
On the account that we just left out of Joshua, the children of Israel are in the promised land.
They've conquered the major nations, the major enemy.
But the individual tribes were now responsible for taking out the rest of the inhabitants that was within their boundaries.
And of course, we saw already in Joshua and at the beginning of judges that that didn't fully happen, and so they are still dealing with enemies, and the book of judges really records for us as cycle.
For the nation of Israel of disobedience to the Lord, that would be followed by some discipline from God, allowing.
Other nations to rise up and to oppress them, to bring difficulties into their lives, and then the children of Israel would realize, oh man, we've abandoned God, and we're in this predicament, and so they would call out to the Lord.
And the Lord would raise up a judge.
That's why it's called the Book of Judges.
Or you might say a deliverer and the deliverer would.
Attack the enemy would set them free.
They would turn back to the Lord and things would be good for a little bit while the judge was alive and then typically after the judge died.
Then they would start the cycle over again and go back into disobedience, and so the book of judges has some great instruction.
Is in that some great lessons to learn from their patterns to keep ourselves from following that?
But as we look at judges Chapter 6 tonight and consider the example of Gideon.
Here we are looking at a man who was not a judge from the get go, but he was a farmer.
He was a guy who was just trying to survive and take care of his family and just doing some work.
Kind of in obscurity and hiding in the back.
Ground and God going to bring him to be raised up to be the guy that leads the nation of Israel to victory against this multitude.
This innumerable army and so God here wants to raise up Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites.
He tells them that directly in verse 14.
It says the Lord turned to him and said, go in this might of yours and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites, have I?
Not sent to you.
And so here's getting an insignificant guy, but God says you can be mighty in me.
I want you to be part of my work.
I'm going to be with you and you're going to bring about this great victory.
And here Gideon provides for us a really encouraging example of the thing, the things that God would say.
To us as well, that God wants us to be part of.
His work and God could do things in our lives just like he did in Gideon's life, and sometimes we really, you know, don't even consider different aspects of things that might be upon our heart different needs that there might be in the world different needs. That there might be within the church. There might be oppression there might be.
Difficulty in affliction.
There might be problems and you know God could raise any of us up to address the issue in Afghanistan.
And we're like, oh, that's crazy talk, you know that's just silly, but that's really what we're seeing happen here that God can take any person who is.
Willing to listen to the Lord and trust the Lord and send them out to accomplish great huge things in his plans and his purposes.
And so we want to learn from the example of Gideon, and to be part of the work of God in the way that he wants us to.
And so this is a little bit of a lengthy chapter, so we're not going to.
Work through every verse tonight, but work through some of the main highlights here to get a glimpse of the life of Gideon here and God's work in him, and how we can learn to be a part of the work of the Lord as well. So point number, one tonight we'll look at is in verses 11 through 16.
It's four points tonight.
Here's the first one God is with you and will be with you.
So understanding that God wants you to be part of his work.
First we need to know that God is with us and will be with us.
In verse 11 it says now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree, which is in Ofra which belonged to Joash.
The Abbey's right, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the wine press in order to hide it.
From the Midianites.
And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, the Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor.
Gideon said to him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?
And where are all his miracles which our fathers have told us about saying?
Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?
But now the Lord has forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
Here we find the scene kind of open Gideon is hiding in a winepress threshing wheat.
Now that's not typically where you would thresh.
Wheat winepress would not be ideal for threshing wheat, because there was no wind to carry away the chaff, but he was doing it that way because he was afraid of the Midianites, and as we read in those.
Earlier verses it describes the process that if the children of Israel grew their crops in a way that they were.
Visible well, these surrounding nations primarily the Midianites, would come in and just take everything that they had grown, just wipe out all of their crops, wipe out all of that they had worked so hard for, and it might be interesting to really kind of try to picture that in your life.
Like, Can you imagine you know you've been working hard this week?
And you're looking to get your paycheck at the end of the week.
But then at the end of the week you know someone comes in and sweeps it and then next week you work real hard every week and you know it's like the bully.
That's cool, taking your lunch money every day.
It's like that.
Like every and and how frustrating would it be to to think about growing crops, right?
That's something I was thinking about today, like that's not like a week worth of work, right?
This months worth of work and effort and labor and toil and and then to have it all just ripped away how devastating that would be.
How discouraging that would be.
And it kind of helps us picture and understand the condition of the nation of Israel and where their hearts were at and how much they were struggling in this situation.
And sometimes in those kinds of contexts.
We, like Gideon, are really unaware.
That God is with us.
And so the Lord shows up to Gideon, right here, as he perhaps is a little bit distressed.
A little bit depressed.
Really bummed out that he's trying to, you know, Thresh wheat in a winepress which is not the right place for it.
It's a difficult thing to do.
It makes the task much harder.
The Lord shows up.
Watches him for a little bit and then says the Lord is with you, and at this point you can see in Gideon response in verse 13, he doesn't know that God is with him.
In a sense, he doesn't really believe that God is with him.
He says if God is with us, why then has all this happened?
To us and he is associating the presence of God with the difficulty of his life.
It's an easy thing to do.
We often do that ourselves.
But the Lord shows up and reminds him.
Reminds us tonight that even when we are in these most difficult situations, most depressing situations, most stressful situations and being harassed and oppressed, that it doesn't mean that we are absent from the presence.
Of the Lord are that the Lord is absent from our life, even when we can't sense the presence of the Lord.
The Lord is with us, and here we find Gideon he did not know that God was with him, and you can think about that in a couple ways.
In that moment the Lord was with him.
But then also in that season the Lord was with him.
In that moment we see in verse 12 it says the Angel of the Lord appeared to him.
Now the Angel of the Lord is an interesting phrase.
That specific phrase the Angel of the Lord, not an Angel or a Angel.
Not there was, you know, an Angel.
But the Angel of the Lord is a very specific phrase that's used about 10 times in the scriptures.
As you look at each one of them and follow them through, it is pretty clear that there's something special about this combination of words that this is not just.
You know, like the Angel Gabriel or Michael the Archangel, but that this is really an appearance of the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament, coming in various forms to these people, but referred to as the Angel of the Lord.
And so you can look at the example of Hagar in Genesis chapter 16.
You can think about Moses and Exodus 3 at the burning Bush.
It was the Angel of the Lord that spoke to him from the burning Bush.
You can look at Gideon here in judges Chapter 6, and so on and so forth, and so you can dig into those passages if you want to look them up later.
But but the point is, the Angel of the Lord, probably.
On an appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament is right there with Gideon, and he says to Gideon, the Lord is with you.
Meant that you know, probably, hey, Gideon, here I am, the Lord, right here, and Gideon took it more in the sense of in the season.
You know the Lord has abandoned us and he's not conscious of he's not aware that right in front of him, the Lord is with him, like right there with him, right?
Right there in the threshing floor.
The Lord is.
With Gideon closer than he is really able to realize or recognize at this time.
The Lord is with Gideon.
He shows up.
He's right there with him.
He knows exactly where he's at, what's going on and what he can do with the life of Gideon if Gideon will trust him and walk with him in obedience.
And so Gideon is.
Unaware that God was with him in that moment, but also you can see from his answer in verse 13 that he's unaware of the presence of God in that season.
He's looking at all the difficulty, all the challenges, all the issues that the nation is facing, and he's coming to the conclusion God has abandoned us.
Where his word in verse 13 is God has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
The author of Hebrews
Tells us that the Lord disciplines those that he loves, and if anyone doesn't experience discipline that then we are not children of the Lord.
This particular case for the nation of Israel is a direct issue of their disobedience.
It's a direct connection to, and that's explained in the first part of judges, Chapter 6.
Now there are sometimes affliction and difficulty happened in our life and we feel like the Lord is not with us.
That is not directly associated with some disobedience, but here in this case it is clear.
They have disobeyed the Lord, and what Gideon is is thinking here is that the Lord has forsaken them, they've been disobedient, they've turned away, and God has just given up and walked away and left them into the hands of the Midianites.
I give up on you guys.
I've tried too hard.
I've delivered you a few times already.
You're back in sin.
And so Gideon's mindset is the Lord is not with us.
In this season and this issue, and this difficulty that we're in.
God's not with us.
If God is with us.
Then he says, why then has all this happened to us?
It just doesn't make sense.
Why has all this happened to us now?
Oftentimes when we ask why questions of things about God, we don't have answers to that.
But again, this time we do in verses seven through 10.
Just before this, the Lord sent a prophet to say, guys this is happening in your life because you have not obeyed my voice.
You've turned to other gods.
You've been worshipping other gods, and so this is the result of that.
And so Gideon's there, thinking why?
And God says, I told you why already?
Because you guys have abandoned me.
That's where you're at and I haven't abandoned you.
You force seikan me.
The Lord is saying, but I haven't forsaken you.
And so God shows up to Gideon and speaks to Gideon the person but.
By association or by kind of like a a representative, he speaks of the nation of Israel and God says the Lord is with you.
Here the Lord says to the Nation of Israel.
Even in times of rebellion, even in times of great sin and resistance and stubbornness to turn and repent and get right.
And you can understand the idea of being with you that it's more than just presence, because in some ways, right?
God is an omnipresent, so he's everywhere it went, so he's always with you in that way no matter where you're at.
So no matter what you're going through, but it's more than that.
When God says I'm with you, it's not just.
I'm present everywhere, generically speaking, and you happen to be one of the places where I am right.
God is saying I'm with you in the sense of I'm on your side.
Right, I'm working on your behalf.
I I want what's best for you and so I'm with you in the midst of this situation.
And I'm going to bring out from this.
Good if you will allow me to.
God here is bringing discipline upon his children, still working out opportunities for repentance, because God is with them.
And as we go through things in our lives again, sometimes it's associated with our disobedience.
Sometimes it's not.
But either way.
See The thing is many times because of our guilts, we like Gideon feel like oh God has just given up.
He's forsaken because, you know, I've blown it.
Again, I've messed up again.
Here we are again, in the same issue.
And God would remind us this evening that he is with us.
Well, God tells him in verse 14 go in this might of yours and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.
Have I not sent you?
So he said to him, Oh my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father's house.
God announces his plans.
I'm with you and I have plans for you.
You are going to be part of my work.
And Gideon says, look at me, I'm hiding in a winepress.
I'm part of the weakest family.
Of the tribe of Manasseh. We're not prominent. We're not politicians. You know we're not warriors where we're just the nobody's. And nothings of this tribe.
Amongst my family I'm the least, so we're the least family and I'm the least of the least family like.
Not getting the mighty right like I don't walk into a room and everybody doesn't like just be quiet.
And Hush Gideons here.
Listen up, you know I don't walk into a situation and everybody goes whoo man, we were in trouble.
But oh thank goodness Gideon showed up like OK, we're saved.
You know Gideon's here we're we're safe now we can we can relax, he'll figure it out. We know getting.
He he's gonna figure it out like that's not how it was.
It was like who cares if Gideon shows up or not.
Nobody cared about Gideon.
Except the Lord and the Lord said, I'm with you, and I want to use you in my work to do great things.
And he says, how?
How is that possible?
How could I'm the least of the least?
And God tells him how it's possible in verse 16 the Lord said to him, surely I will be with you.
And you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.
I am with you.
I will be with you.
Here's how you're going to be successful in the work that I call you too.
Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit.
I'm going to be with you, the Lord says.
And you will be victorious in the mission that I set before you in the path that I call you to.
And so we find Gideon here at the beginning.
He did not know that God was with him.
In that season of life, he felt forsaken.
He felt abandoned.
He felt God has just given them over and was never coming back and right there, in that moment he felt there was no presence of God.
And yet right there the Lord was with him.
Right in that moment, right in front of his face.
Listen whenever we are feeling like giddy and we can know God is with us even when we can't see him or feel him even when we don't have the Angel of the Lord right there in our face.
God is with us.
He's right there in the presence.
He's right there.
For us and on our side and working.
On our behalf.
Gideon didn't know how mighty he could be.
Because he didn't know the presence of the Lord, but you have the opportunity to know God is with you and will be with you.
Well, moving on to verses 17 through 24, we get the second point to consider this evening and that is that God wants you to know that he is with you.
God wants you to know not only is God with you and not only does he promise to continue to be with you, but he wants you to know that he is with you.
Check out verse 17 through 19, it says.
Then he said to him if now I have found favor in your sight then show me a sign that it is you who talk with me.
Do not depart from here.
I pray until I come to you and bring out my offering and said it before you and he said, I will wait until you come back.
So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat.
And unleavened bread from an ephah flower, the meats he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and he brought them out to him under the terebinth tree, and presented them.
If you're really you and you're really with me, you're really with us.
Then I think I'd eat a little bit of.
Evidence I need a bit of a sign here to know for sure that it is you who are talking with me.
In a sense, here you can think of that Gideon is saying.
Am I dreaming here?
Is this really happening?
Is this really taking place or is this a vision?
Are you just a spirit?
Is this you know just kind of something that's happening in my imagination?
Or is this something that is happening for real?
And so he asked for a sign as a validation as a verification that what he's experiencing is real life and not some.
You know, weird fantasy or weird dream or vision that he's experiencing.
And and Gideon here is bold enough to ask.
For this side, he says in verse 18 could you wait around for a little bit.
I I just need to verify that you really are here, that this is really happening and so the test that Gideon comes up with is I'm going to prepare a meal for you.
It's a good test, right?
It's kind of like the Santa Claus test.
Are the cookies and milk gone in the morning right in a similar way?
He says look OK, I'll prepare a meal if the food is gone.
Then I'll know.
If I wake up later and that food is still in the fridge, all know OK.
Well, that was a weird dream man.
That was strange I. I thought that was for real for a minute, but no, no. I could see the food's here, but OK. Oh no, the food's gone.
That really happened.
So later on, when when my understanding, my intellect is really challenging, the reality of the situation I I have this evidence that food that I had is now gone.
I I can know.
That I wasn't just dreaming.
It's interesting, right?
Gideon doesn't tell the Angel of the Lord.
Could you pinch me?
I just need to test if I'm dreaming, right?
Could you pinch me?
You know, pinching is not a great test if you're trying to figure out if it's a dream or not.
Like you could just pinch yourself in the dream.
It's not really that effective in proving for sure, right, but?
Pulling food out of the fridge, preparing it, and then having it be gone.
And well, that's that's a good test of the reality of the situation. In fact, it's the test that Jesus provided to his disciples in Luke Chapter 24, when Jesus had resurrected from the dead and his disciples were really shocked and having a hard time believing that he had really risen from the dead.
It says in verse 41 of Luke 24 they still did not believe for joy.
They were struggling to believe they were so happy, but they were like it's just so hard to believe.
And so Jesus says, hey, do you have any food here?
Let's break bread together, and so they gave him a piece of fish and some honeycomb.
He took it.
He ate it in their presence, and then he took off.
And later, when they're looking around, did that really happen?
Yeah, look, there's one less fish on the plate, right?
Like we can see he, he wasn't just a spirit.
He consumed food.
He was here.
It really happened.
And so Gideon here asked for this sign.
He wants to make sure he's not crazy.
He wants to make sure he's not just having some kind of weird vision or something.
And so the Lord was willing to wait, he says, yeah, I'll wait till you come back.
Here's God running the universe.
Why is he willing to like hang out there?
Sit out there in the Winepress until Gideon goes and makes some food and come back.
Well, 'cause God wanted Gideon to know.
I'm with you.
He wanted Gideon to know.
These things were true.
It was really happening.
The Lord had appeared to him and was going to be with him.
Well, the next couple verses go on to describe the situation.
Gideon goes and prepares a meal.
He brings it out to the Lord and the Lord says lay it on this rock.
Pour the broth on top of it and it really becomes a bit of an offering.
It's a burnt offering with a drink offering that's poured over it.
And then verse 21 the Angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in his hand, touched the meat and the unleavened bread, and fire rose out of the walk, and consumed the meat.
I think I said walk on fire, rose out of the rock.
And consumed the meat and the unleavened bread, and the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.
I was thinking about stir fry, I guess, and the fire came out of the wok.
The Lord touched it with his staff and it goes up in flames.
It becomes a burnt offering.
The food is consumed by the fire innocence consumed by the Lord, and then Gideon realized in verse 22, then Gideon perceived that it was the Angel of the Lord.
And so he said, alas, oh, Lord God, for I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face, he recognizes.
It's the verification that happened.
It was validated.
I really am in the presence of the Lord.
I really do know now that the Lord is with me.
I know that for sure God is with me.
I'm in his presence.
And so the Lord stuck around for this.
Not because he was hungry, not because you know he wanted to teeth Gideon's cooking.
But because he wanted Gideon to know.
Yeah, I'll hang out.
I'll spend some time here because I want you to know that I really am with you.
And the results of that.
As Gideon comes to this realization as as it settles in, this is really happening for real.
God is with me.
The result of that is peace. Check out verse 23 and 24. The Lord said to him, peace be with you. Do not fear. You shall not die. So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord.
And called it, the Lord is peace to this day. It is still in Ofra of the Abbey's rights.
Settles Gideon's heart as he realizes.
I'm in God's presence. This is really happening and then all of a sudden, whoa, this is really dangerous. I'm in God's presence.
The the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the creator of the heavens and the Earth, the Holy God I'm in his presence.
And God says, relax, peace, you're not going to die.
Of course, we all deserve to be struck down immediately, but God says I didn't show up here to judge you for all of your sin.
I came and I showed up here to let you know I'm with you.
I came to bring you peace.
And Gideon received it.
So much so he named the altar.
The Lord is peace.
The Lord is PC.
He had peace.
Because he had this confirmation from the Lord.
That God was with him.
In a similar way, I would encourage you tonight.
God wants you to know that he's with you.
And you know, like Gideon ask the Lord.
It's OK to ask the Lord.
To show you, especially in the midst of these kinds of situations where there is desperation and difficulty and distress.
That that we can ask the Lord.
Can can I confirm, Lord, that you're with me?
And the Lord desires.
For you to know that he is with you, he wants you to know he will never leave you nor forsake you, he promised.
And he wants you to know that he's with you even now, in the midst of whatever you might go through.
Caused me to think about the apostle Paul in Corinth.
You might remember the account here in acts chapter 18.
In Corinth, the Lord appeared to Paul in a vision.
And said, do not be afraid.
But speak and do not keep silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you, to hurt you, for I have many people in this city.
And I always find this passage interesting because.
God doesn't say things that don't need to be said.
And so it's not laid out in detail here, but we can infer from this.
Paul was afraid, and you might not think about the apostle Paul being afraid, but.
There in the midst of Corinth there was some fear, and Paul was wrestling through some of the things that were going on and what he should do in the midst of that situation.
This is reading into the text right?
Not explicitly said here, but perhaps the that Paul even asked the Lord Lord are you with me?
Are you with me here?
Do you want me here?
Is this what you desire?
I'm fearful I'm not sure what to do with this situation.
God says to Paul Paul.
Answering your questions, responding to your prayers.
Don't be afraid, for I am with you.
I am with you, Paul.
I've got your back.
I'm on your side, I'm working for you.
Continue on the ministry that I've set before you here in Corinth.
We can ask God to show us.
To speak to us.
To let us know that he is with us.
And so as we think about the work that God wants to do.
The plans that he has, we can understand that it starts with the presence of the Lord.
God is with you and will be with you.
He wants you.
To know that he is with you, he wants you to have the the peace that comes from trusting and believing and recognizing the presence of the Lord.
Now as we move forward, we begin to get more into the work.
Of God's work for you that the the plans of God's work for you, and so it gives us point #3 tonight as we move on to verses 25 through 32, God will train you for his work.
God's going to prepare you and train you.
So it begins with the presence of the Lord.
It begins with knowing it's not by might.
It's not by power, but it's by the Holy Spirit.
It's the presence of God with you, God working in you, God working through you.
There's a peace that comes from that.
God is not abandon you.
But also you can understand it really.
Rest assured in that God is not just going to expect you to accomplish things that he has not prepared you for.
And so he trains us.
Here we see him training Gideon.
By giving him a simple first step.
Now, if you think about it like what God's asking Gideon to do is to go to war against an innumerable army like that's a huge scary task.
But that's not the first thing that God asked him to do.
It's going to be the next thing that God asked him to do, but before he gets there, he's going to give him a first opportunity to kind of try out his.
Faith leagues, right? Try out his his steps of faith and steps of obedience and see how God is faithful to be with him in the midst of it God will train you for his work. Check out verse 25 and 26.
Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, take your father young bowl, the second bowl of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it and build an altar to the Lord your God.
On top of this, rock in the proper arrangement and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice.
With the wood of the image, which you shall cut down.
The first instruction that God gives to Gideon.
Begin with his own home with his own family.
God's going to lead him to defeat the Midianite army. We'll see that in judges Chapter 7.
But he doesn't start with that.
He trains us when he's including us in his work.
When he's putting us to work, he prepares us.
Now, that doesn't mean we always feel prepared when the next step comes right.
The next step is a big step, but but God is preparing Gideon with this first step and the way that God trains you, you need to know it's mostly going to be on the job training.
When I first started working for Paychex many years ago, now I didn't start working at Paychex.
I got hired and then I got flown over to New York where the corporate office was and I spent two weeks in training.
School education classes all day.
You know every day for the weekend.
And then I came back and then started the job.
That's not often how God works his training out.
Sometimes he does that right, he said Paula, we did the wilderness for a few years and then brought him back, but most of the time our training is on the job training.
God says, OK, take this simple first step.
Step do this thing and it's as we go that God is providing for us the training and education that we need.
And so you need to know it's mostly going to be on the job training God is going to say take a take a first step, but also don't be surprised if it starts in your own home.
In verse 25 again, God tells him tear down the altar of Baal that your father has and cut down the wooden image that is beside it.
Alright, First things first, get in in your own home.
Within your own family, is this altar?
And so first thing you need to do Gideon is take care of that and and here God is doing multitude multitude of things.
He's he's getting Gideon to take a step of obedience to trust.
God will see that he needed to trust God because he was fearful.
This very first step.
Like you could look at it and compare it to the next task of attacking the Midianites and go.
Well, that's such a simple thing, no big deal, but Gideon was fearful.
Verse 27 Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did his alert, had said to him, but because he feared his father household and the men of the city too, too much to do it by day, he did it by night.
It was a simple task, but it still caused Gideon great fear and so.
He was obedient to God, but he scheduled it in a way that he wouldn't be so public, so visible that it wouldn't be so obvious because.
He wasn't ready for the confrontation with his father with his father house with the men of the city who were worshipping at this idol.
He he wasn't ready for that kind of confrontation, but he wanted to be obedient, and so he went forward and he did it by night.
Now the people are upset.
As this situation unfolds, we find Gideon's dad step up and defend him.
And you could think, well, that's just, you know, a dad being a dad, but.
Considering this idol is his father's on his father's property, right? This was God at work in his father.
Protecting Gideon, and so Gideon got to experience a step of obedience.
Although he was fear.
Full, but his dad stood up and defended him and kept him safe from the men of the city who wanted to attack him.
As a result of this situation, and so it was good training for him that he could trust God even when he's fearful, take a step of obedience and know that God.
Was going to protect him and preserve him in the midst of it.
This was a good piece of training because.
It was a very difficult thing for him to do.
You know how it is, it's family.
Family situations are often the most difficult situations that we face.
I remember Pastor Dillon sharing that with me one time.
I I can kind of picture his voice in my head, I can't imitate it, so don't ask me to do that, but.
I remember him saying that.
You know the the most challenging things that people go through are almost always within their own family.
Like yes, you experience difficulty.
You know losing a job or you lose a home where you have to move or there's you know some devastation, some earthquake or something that happens, or you know, difficult things happen in our life.
Typically the most challenging things that we go through in this life.
Really relate to those that we are related to.
Those that we live with perhaps, or those that we are associated with in that way and.
And so here Gideon has to overcome this fear and address this situation.
Paul tells Timothy in first Timothy Chapter 3.
When he's establishing leaders, he needs to make sure that these leaders are able to really exercise godliness within their own home.
And if a leader doesn't know how to be a man of God at home.
Paul says how will he take care of the Church of God like that's?
That's the most difficult place to be.
A Christian is at home, like you might think of that.
It's easier, but no, no, it's easy to show up to church and to put on a Christian smile and to be a fake Christian and then to go home and be a real Sinner, right?
It's much more difficult to be genuine in your love with the Lord.
Genuine in your walk.
With the Lord at home.
With your own family amongst your own relatives.
It's there that God trains you for his work.
Your relationship with him.
In your own home with your own family and so here God is doing multiple things, giving Gideon a chance to take a step of obedience and to watch God protect him and preserve him.
He's also addressing the sin issue and and involving Gideon in the work of God in removing idolatry from the people from his family, he's engaging him.
In the work of God.
And having him overcome some of the most difficult things that he will yes facing in the Midnight Army is going to be terrifying and difficult.
But addressing this sin issue within your own family Gideon, it's a good first step because it's going to be a difficult thing to do, and so it's on the job.
Training here begins at home.
Dealing with this idol 2 ball. Well, finally verses 33 through 40 gives us point. #4 for tonight God wants to our God wants you to be part of his work.
It begins with you recognizing and understanding that God is with you and will be with you.
Understanding that God wants you to know that he's with you and so you can ask him to reveal himself to show himself and and to show you that he's with you to speak to your heart.
It's going to involve some training, some steps that God calls you to take.
Perhaps beginning with some simple steps of obedience, but although they may be simple, might be terrifying and difficult and challenging, and.
Amongst some of the hardest things that you'll ever have to do.
As we go on now into verses 33 through 40 though, here point #4 God wants to give you confirmation.
Here we find the classic most like well known thing about Gideon, and that is the test of the fleece.
Let's check out verse 33 through 40. It says then all the Midianites and Amalekites. The people of the east gathered together.
And they crossed over, and encamped in the valley of Jezreel.
But the spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew the trumpet.
And the Abbey's rights gathered behind him. And he sent messengers throughout, all Manasseh who also gathered behind him.
He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they came out to meet him.
So Gideon said to God.
If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, look.
I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor, if there is do on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, and it was so when he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together.
He rung the dew out of the fleece.
A bowl full of water.
Then Gideon said to God, do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more.
Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece.
Let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on the ground.
Let there be dew.
And God did so that night it was dry on the fleece only and there was dew on all the ground.
Part of Gideon's life, the thing that he's known for the test of the Fleece now.
There's a lot of things that we could think about and discuss in regards to this, and I'm not going to cover all of it, of course.
A lot of people give Gideon a really hard time for this whole issue of the fleece.
God has already appeared to him.
The Angel of the Lord was right there in his face.
The Angel of the Lord hung out for a few minutes while he prepared a meal.
Then he touched it with the staff and it consumed in flames.
He saw the offering he saw the Angel of the Lord.
He had the direct instruction of the Lord.
And so many people suggest and say that Gideon.
Should not offer this fleece.
Or they suggest that, well, you know, maybe it's OK for Gideon, but this is not anything that any of us should ever do.
What I find interesting about that is, as you look at this passage.
You look at the rest of the scripture.
We do not ever find God rebuking or correcting Gideon for this at any point, and so this is where I kind of make the point.
God wants to give you confirmation.
There's a difference in seeking confirmation and testing the Lord.
There's, you know, that doesn't give us license to demand whatever we want from the Lord.
There does need to be some room for us to be able to say Lord there is this really challenging thing that you're calling me too?
And and there is really a big of step, a feat that's required here.
What I believe you've spoken to me, I believe your presence is with me and and I I have that experience and I have your instruction but.
But I I need to know I I need to have a little bit of.
Before I move forward, especially in areas this big.
Right, like Gideon is not asking for confirmation about what luxury car he should buy.
Like Lloyd, should I get the leather seats or just the fabric?
Right, like he's not.
Being trivial, he's not being flippant.
His life is at stake, but not only that, his actions may cost the lives of many other people.
In going against the Midianite army, if the Lord's not really with him. If he's just a, you know crazy guy who had a weird vision and he just like rushes out against the Midianites. Like so many people are going to suffer.
If this really is not of the Lord, there's a lot at stake here, and so Gideon appreciates the seriousness of the situation, he says, God.
I I really need to make sure that that I'm not just rushing ahead that I'm not doing something foolish that you're really in this.
I would encourage you to consider that asking God for confirmation is not the same as giving God an ultimatum.
Now God, if you don't, you know, make the sun stop in the sky for five extra minutes today.
Then I'm not going to like like an ultimatum is a different thing, and this wasn't that this was Lord, I believe you've spoken.
I know you're with me.
But before I put these guys in danger before I go down this dangerous path before before I take this step, Lord.
Would you show me again that this truly is?
What you want?
And so he puts out the fleece.
Fleece number one versus 36 through 38.
Let the do be on the fleece and let the grind dry the ground.
Be dry and God does it.
He works out a supernatural miracle.
Getting still a little bit like I I don't know.
Maybe there's some physics that I'm just not aware of here.
Maybe there's like some principle you know, maybe this always happens.
I've never put a fleece on the ground before, so maybe that always happens that when you put a fleece on the ground the do gets all attracted to the fleece and it doesn't go on the ground.
Like maybe maybe that's just a.
Thing of nature that I didn't know anything about.
So OK God.
Don't be angry with me.
Listen to his humility.
This is not again him demanding something from God or telling God if you don't do this, then I'm not going to serve you right like this.
His heart is clear.
Just just one more Time Lord, would you be so patient with me?
I know, I know you're with me and you've spoken to me and you've shown me this.
Lord, if if you would be so gracious, one more test.
Do you on the ground?
Let the fleece be dry.
God said OK.
The fleece was dry.
And the ground had dew on it.
I I see this.
Not necessarily as a pattern of like we should all have fleeces in our back pocket so that we can test everything right?
But but the idea, and the understanding that it's OK to ask God for confirmation, as you're wrestling with things as you're making big decisions as you're seeking to serve the Lord and take steps of faith and you're responding to things he's putting upon your heart.
I would say that God wants you.
To ask for confirmation, he wants to give he wants to show you his will and confirm his will to you that you can step forward in the things that he has called you to so much so check this out.
God offers the next test.
It's not in Chapter 6, we'll see it in Chapter 7.
Tomorrow, God's as he goes out against the Midianite army. God says, OK, Gideon look, are you still afraid? If you're still afraid?
Here's what I want you to do.
Go down to the enemy camp.
Take your servant with you and you're going to hear some people talking and I'm going to show you one more time that I'm with you.
Like to me, this just shows God is not upset with Gideon for these tests.
He's seeking confirmation and God not frustrated by that, he says, and that Gideon you could have done a third fleece here.
Let me give you a third one just so that you know that you know that you know this is what I want you to do.
He's he's willing.
To give Gideon another sign.
Now sometimes it is again thought of and believed to be like it's a lack of faith or it's unbelief, or it's evil to ask for a sign.
Well, in some cases, sure it can be.
If you're saying and your heart is show me a sign so that I can be amazed.
Well, God says no to that.
That's not appropriate motivation.
God not going to submit to you know that kind of thing.
If our heart is saying show me a sign so that I can decide whether or not I want to obey.
Well, I would suggest God says no to that also like this isn't a negotiation but but seeking confirmation.
Is appropriate and it's OK.
I don't know Jerry.
Are you sure?
'cause it seems like it's evil.
I think I Remember Remember Jesus saying it's evil to ask for a sign.
Matthew chapter 16.
The Pharisees and Sadducees came testing him, asking that he would show them a sign from heaven.
And he says to them, in verse 4A, wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no signs shall be given it except the sign of the Prophet Jonah.
And he left them and departed.
Now understand what Jesus is saying here.
He's not saying anybody who asks for a sign is a wicked and adulterous generation.
That's not what he's saying.
He's saying this generation that I'm dealing with right here is a wicked and adulterous generation, and those kinds of generations do seek after a sign because they don't want to turn from their sin, and so they want to challenge God in a way that you know God is not going to come through, and so that they can be justified in saying, well, I can just continue living how I want to then.
Jesus is not saying it's wicked and adulterous.
To ask for a sign.
And he's not saying only wicked people ask for signs.
He's calling out those particular people that were challenging him for a sign, and he's essentially saying you guys are wicked and adulterous.
And that's why you're asking for a sign because you don't want to believe.
And you're coming from that place of wickedness.
And so if you're asking God for a sign for confirmation in that way, well, yeah, then you need to have your heart changed.
If you're seeking the Lord's will and you believe God put things on your heart but they're kind of big, they're kind of scary. They're kind of a big stretch, a step of feet.
I would suggest you God wants to give you confirmation and you can ask him for that.
Again, not demanding, not, you know, using this to try to arm wrestle God.
I would suggest.
God used the fleece in Gideon situation because God put the fleece on his heart.
It's not like that is the ultimate test, right?
Everybody use a fleece.
Lord, give me confirmation.
Show me this is.
This is something that I practice in my life regularly when when I'm wrestling with things and I'm seeking the Lord.
I usually start a list.
I have a notebook in my notepad on my phone.
It's called Rhema, R hmm and it is a Greek word that talks about the word, but if you're kind of familiar with some old school teachings right, you have the word that is the word of God, which is like a broad.
Sword, it's living and active, right?
But then you have the word which is like that little sword that was like piercing like that one right thing, right?
And so there's that word of the Lord, that that the Lord just pinpointing that one thing in your life.
Whenever there's a situation in my life, like I recently went through with the job opportunity, I started a new note page.
Lord, I think you might be opening this door.
I think you might be saying something about this, and I don't think it's a good idea, and it seems like a crazy crazy scary thing and I'm terrified about it.
And there's a lot of you know people that I'd be responsible for now.
And you know.
You just I don't like this idea, but Lord seems like you're moving OK, so let me start a new.
Thing OK, Lord, would you give me confirmation?
And so I pulled my fleece out of my back pocket.
Now I didn't use the fleece, but I use my daily devotions.
I use my times in seeking the Lord and listening for counsel, listening for insights that God would bring, and the Lord began to build that list and build that list and.
You convinced me you confirmed it.
This is part of your plan.
And so God has a work there.
I know it.
I believe it.
I don't know what it is and it's still crazy and scary, but.
I have to move forward and attack the Midianites right in a similar way.
God God wants to use you.
He wants you to be part of his work.
Begins with you knowing that he's with you and that he will be with you.
You can trust him and rest in that.
He wants you to know that he's with you and so you can ask him for that confirmation that he's with you and ask him to reveal himself to show himself to you.
He wants to reveal himself to you.
As he does, he'll train you.
He'll begin to show you.
Here's steps I want you to take.
Here's moves I want you to make.
Here's where I want you to go.
As he trains you for his work.
And then as the next thing comes, and now it's the big thing.
But what gives you instruction?
God says go ahead and ask for confirmation.
Let me confirm.
Let me solidify that instruction in your heart.
That you can trust me and be obedient to what I have set before you, and that way you can go forward and we'll see as we go on into Chapter 7 tomorrow, Gideon goes forward and is a part of a great victory.
Because he was willing to trust God.
He had the confirmation he had the presence of God.
He was trained by the Lord.
He had everything that he needed to be an amazing part of a big work of deliverance that God wanted to bring to the.
God wants to do those kinds of things in US and through us as well.
But we pray that you would help us to be part of your work.
Help us Lord to no Lord that you're with us to sense.
Your presence to experience Lord.
And to invite you.
To reveal yourself to us.
I pray God that you would train us that you would build us up.
And I pray God that you would give us confirmation.
Those things that we're wrestling with and struggling with and.
We think, Lord, you're doing, but we don't know for sure.
Lord, would you confirm?
Would you solidify those instructions in our hearts?
That we might trust you and go forward.
And the things that you're calling to calling us too Lord, that we might be.
Victorious, successful and effective.
In accomplishing your work for your glory.
We pray this in Jesus name.