Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

God could use an ass, or you

by Erik Momsen

In the minds of men bigger is better and more is what we need.  The big guy almost always wins.  We've seen this is the USA's involvement in the Middle East.  Their military superiority is crushing.  Their only real challenge is talking the rest of the world into submission.  Two slogans do summarise our age. "If it feels good do it", and "might is right".

God on the other hand does things differently.  He takes a childless couple to start a nation.  Uses a collection of slave tribes to give the world His Word.  He uses a boy to kill a giant, and three hundred men to defeat an army of more than thirty thousand.

A few lessons can be learned from the story of Gideon and the battle against the Midianites.  The Midianites were nomadic people of the Negev who formed coalitions with other nomadic peoples east of Moab and Amon.

OPPRESSION AND SUFFERING COME AS A RESULT OF SIN
"Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord" ... I said to you, 'I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites ... But you did not listen to me'." (Judges 6:1,10)
 - Primarily the sin of not placing God first in our lives.

GOD CALLS A PERSON OR GROUP TO ACT ON HIS BEHALF
 - These agents really only follow in faith and God acts.
 - The faith required often comes from a Divine encounter with God.
"When Gideon realised that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, 'Ah, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face." (6:22)

GOD USES THE UNLIKELY
 - Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress - fearful and hiding.
 - Gideon was from the weakest tribe and the youngest in the family .

But God says to Gideon; "Go in the strength you have ... Am I not sending you." (6:14)
 - The messenger is not important, but the message and the sender.

GOD MAKES RADICAL TROUBLEMAKERS
"Take the second bull from your father's herd ... Tear down your father's altar to Baal and the Asherah pole ..." (6:25)
 - The command was to kill his father's animal and destroy his property.
 - These defiant acts of faith however turn his family to God.

THE SPIRIT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
"Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet summoning the Abiezrites to follow him." (6:34)
 - The greatest leaps of faith are empowered by the Spirit.
 - The strength of the enemy has just been stated and then God acts.
 - He sends His Spirit.

THE FEAR DOESN'T JUST DISAPPEAR
 - Gideon asks the angel to stay as a sign.
 - Gideon asks for two signs using the fleece.

"If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp ... and listen to what they are saying. ... you will be encouraged to attack the camp." (7:10)
 - Faith replaces fear and God builds him up as he goes.

GOD USES THE WEAK TO PREVENT BOASTING
"You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands.  In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her." (Judges 7:2)

GOD DOESN'T NEED A CROWD
"You have too many men for me to deliver ..."
 - God uses a brave dedicated few to better effect than a half hearted crowd.

WHAT DOES GOD NEED FOR A MIRACLE?
A bad situation / an unlikely hero / someone who will go / someone who is honest with God / someone to fill with the Spirit / someone in whom He replaces fear with faith.

God knows who He’s got in you.  People are seldom too small for God to use but often too big.  Our few fish and bread is more than God needs.

Go in the strength you have ... Am I not sending you." (Judges 6:14)

Date Added: 2010-01-19

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