God's Deliverance of Israel Through Gideon
God Gives the Victory!
1. Repentance required before victory.
Before revival, or before we can expect to see the mighty works of God displayed there must be repentance. We must see our need for the Lord. And we must get rid of the idols in our lives that are hindering the blessings of God. If we have not repented, and turned to the Lord, we may as well just stop right here- the rest of the message is not for us!
2. The army must be fit to fight in the Lord's battle.
God won't use just any one as soldiers in His battle. He doesn't need any one period; but we can rest assured He won't use unfit vessels. He won't use soldiers who entangle themselves with the affairs of this life, and with this world. He will only use those who are committed to His cause, who willingly submit to His ways.
1. Gideon's Army and their Efforts (7:15-23):
1. They went to battle at the Lord's charge (vs. 9).
2. They went to battle in the confidence of the Lord. (vs. 15):
They were not fearful, but their faith and confidence was in the Lord. They had no confidence in the flesh.
3. They kept their rank (vs. 17-20):
They listened to Gideon and watched him. They obeyed him, and did as they were instructed (as I do, so shall ye do). There was no place for independent thinking, or insubordination; everything had to be just right. They each had their place to be and their job to do.
4. They went to battle with the weapons of faith (vs. 16):
All the weapons were employed to terrify the enemy. The trumpets, the pitchers (which hid the light of the lamps until the appropriate time), the lamps (or torches), the shout or their voices- all were used to startle and terrify the host. They were like a bunch of children with play toys going forth to fight a great army of trained soldiers.
The weapons of the Lord or not like those of this world. In the spiritual realm, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual, to the pulling down of strongholds. Our weapons and our methods may seem simple and childish to the religious experts of our day, but when the Lord is with His people to bless them, there are no defenses sufficient to withstand us.
5. They magnified their presence before their enemies (vs. 19-20)
They blew the trumpets; broke the pitchers; held up their torches; shouted with their voices "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon"! In this way they terrified their enemy (vs. 21)
We need to blow our trumpets. That is, we need to make our presence known in our community. We need to let this world know that we are here!!! We're not to hide! We're not to be backwards about this thing, but open and forward.
We need to break our pitchers. That is, our earthen vessels need to be broken so that the light of Christ might shine forth to this dark world.
We need to hold up the light- the truth of God's Word; and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to hold up the light by living it, by walking in it ourselves, and by preaching it.
We need to shout- "the sword of the Lord!" May we shout from the house tops what we have heard in secret. Proclaim with our voices the victory of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. The sword of the Lord (or of the Spirit) we are told in Ephesians 6:17, is the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that His Word is "sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart".
The weapons of the Lord may seem insignificant, but they are the greatest weapons in the spiritual warfare. The same weapons we have today are the same ones used to win billions of souls to salvation in Christ Jesus! They are mighty to destroy the works of Satan and deliver the elect of God out of His hand!
2. The Works of God in the battle:
1. God was working on the other side (vs. 10-14):
The Lord had already prepared the host of the enemy against the battle; to place His fear upon them!
In the New Testament we see Lydia, whose heart the Lord had prepared; and the Eunuch who was reading in Isaiah about Christ, wanting to know more about the Lord. The household of Cornelius were prepared by the Lord for Peter's arrival. Often times we see the Lord is working on both sides of the battle front.
2. The Lord gave the victory (vs. 22):
Gideon's little army would not have had a hope if it were not for the power of the Lord. The Lord of hosts is His name. It is He Who gives us the victory, and not we ourselves. After we do all that we can, we are totally dependant on the Lord for the victory over our enemies. The battle is the Lord's. Our enemies are far mightier than we are. If we are to have the victory, the Lord must give it!
1. Have we as individuals and as a church repented of our evil ways and returned to the Lord for His mercy and grace?
2. Is our army fit for the battle of the Lord?
3. Are we fighting the Lord's battle in the way He has prescribed?
Are we going forth at His charge, and in His confidence?
Are we keeping rank?
Are we doing our part in our place where the Lord has put us?
Are we listening and watching the Lord, and doing as He has done?
Are we using the prescribed weapons of our spiritual warfare?
Are we magnifying our presents in our battlefield?
Is the Lord giving us the victory?
4. Are you in the Lord's army? Except you know Jesus, the caption of the Lord's host, you are not in the Lord's army; but rather you are His foe. May the Lord conquer you even this day! May it be His sovereign will He slay your stubborn, sinful will, and your rebellion against Him. May He cause you to fall before Him in humble repentance and faith in the blessed Gospel.
(Sermon preached by Pastor Burke at the Faith Baptist Church of Lawtey, Florida)