Gideon: Jehovah’s deliverer for Israel
Scripture: Judges 6:1-32
Aim: To give the pupil an understanding that Jehovah will use those who are willing in order to accomplish His will for His people.
Golden Text: “But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him” (Judges 6:34).
God’s people should occasionally be reminded that their unrighteousness and sins will be judged and punished. Many seem to have the idea that once a person has been saved through faith in Jesus Christ, have had their sins forgive and the guilt removed, and have become a children of God that they can sin against God, men and themselves, and not have to pay any kind of penalty.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
God’s law is irrevocable.
All sins must pay a penalty. “Sin produces death” (death basically means “separation”). Sin puts a wedge between the believer and the Lord (Isaiah 59:1-3). Sin breaks the fellowship between Christ and the believer.
For this reason the believer is instructed, “If we confess our sins, He is just and faithful to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
The Scriptures have many examples of judgment upon God’s people because of their sins. The New Testament gives the example of the Lord killing a husband and wife for lying to the apostles and the church (Acts 5:1). It also gives information that the Lord made some sick and killed some for violating the usage of the Lord’s Supper, or communion (I Corinthians 11:30). Sin will bring some awful consequences upon God’s people. It is imperative that men fear the Lord.
I. Israel was under the oppression of the Midianites (Judges 6:1-6). The Lord allowed the Midianites and the Arabians (children from the east-descendants of Esau) to come in and take all the food and whatever else they wanted from the Israelites (vs. 1). The people of Israel fled from their homes to live in the mountains and caves (vs. 2). The enemy took every thing of value, leaving Israel with only what they could hide (vs. 3-6).
II. Jehovah’s prophet gives reason for the oppression (Judges 6:7-10). Jehovah sends a prophet to the people of Israel when they cry out to Him (vs. 7-8). The message from Jehovah is that He as blessed them (vs. 9). When they persist in sin against Jehovah, and refuse to repent (vs. 10), He sends the enemy as judgment.
III. “The Angel of the Lord” visited with the young man Gideon (Judges 6:11-24). The “Angel of the Lord” is a term used for the pre-incarnate visit of Jesus Christ in the form of an angel to men in the Old Testament Times. He came to visit with Gideon (vs. 11).
The Angel said, “The Lord be with thee, thou mighty man of valour” (vs. 12). Gideon responded, “Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us?”
In answer the Angel called Gideon to go deliver Israel from the enemy (vs. 13-17). Gideon then offered a sacrifice to the Angel, and he accepted the offering (vs. 18-23). The Angel left and Gideon built an altar and worshipped Jehovah (vs. 24).
IV. Gideon obeyed the Lord’s commands (Judges 6:15-32). This is true of all Jehovah’s commands; however, here we mention Gideon’s test. Gideon is commanded to tear down the altar to Baal, then offer a bullock to the Lord on the site (vs. 25-26). He did as commanded (vs. 27-32).
It is vitally important that the Lord’s people confess their sins in repentance, listen to the Word of the Lord (the Scriptures), and then go forth to “practice” the Word. When this pattern is followed, the blessing of the Lord will come. However, let us remember that un-confessed, un-forgiven sins will hinder the blessings of God to the Christian and to people around him.
In order to maintain God’s blessings, may He help us to be faithful, obedient Christians!