Facing The Impossible (Judges 1-18)
Facing The Impossible
Text: Judges 6:1-18
Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)
Date Preached - (01/06/02) PM (06/04/06) AM
Introduction: The Time of the Judges (1380 – 1050 BC).
The Days of no King – “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes”.
EXPLAIN – The Cycle – 1). The people sinned 2). God chastised people usually under a foreign oppressor 3). The people cried out to God 4). God raised up a judge to deliver the people.
Gideon was one of those Judges. (Early 12th century BC)
VERY BRIEFLY tell Gideon’s story.
Israel in Gideon’s day were in an “Impossible Situation”.
Have you ever faced what seemed to you an “impossible” situation?
I mean it could be Financial, Physical, Relational – or how about Spiritual (Salvation of loved one – Victory over some sin).
Now have you ever experienced God’s deliverance in an “impossible” situation?
Did you even know that God delights in, in fact He specializes in deliverance out of impossible situations?
At the time Sarah Laughed, God said to Abraham…
Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD?
As the Lord spoke with Jeremiah of His impending Judgment of Judah…
Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
The angel who brought word of Christ’s conception to Mary…
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
So in truth impossibility is only something encountered by man, it is never a consideration to God.
The difficulty lies with us, not with God.
After conversing with the rich young ruler Jesus spoke of the difficulty for a rich man to be saved.
Matthew 19:25-26 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Can we successfully deal with impossible situations? How should we face the impossible situations of life?
Before we get to that let’s look at the life of Gideon and we will identify some elements or characteristics of I. S. that will help us to learn how God works in them.
I. An Unrelenting Enemy vs.1-6
Forty years (A Generation) has passed between chapter 5 & 6.
Israel is again bound up in the cycle of sin. (Vs.1)
This time worshipping the gods of the Amorites (vs.10). She has forgotten the True God of Israel.
God raises up a formidable foe in the Midianites, to be a thorn to Israel.
Now Midian has an interesting background. Came from Keturah, Abraham’s second wife. (See Gen. 25).
By this time Midian had joined in an informal alliance of Nomadic peoples with the Amalekites and other nations of the east, thus forming a powerful force of marauders against which Israel could do little to resist.
It is apparent that they came against Israel in annual predatory raids. Vs.3-5 describes these raids. The Midianites were like a swarm of locusts, sweeping in just before harvest, destroying and devouring everything in their path.
At these times the crops and livestock of God’s people were completely plundered.
This forced Israel to flee to the mountains and become cave-dwellers (vs.2).
The result throughout these seven years of Midianite oppression was extreme economic hardship.
In response the people cried unto the Lord. Vs.6
The people were driven to their knees, but not likely due to any true consciousness of sin, only for want of relief from their oppressors.
The Impossible Situations in our lives often have this characteristic in common with Gideon’s experience.
The enemy seems to be unrelenting. The difficult circumstance is an ongoing one. There does not appear to be any relief in sight.
There in nowhere to run and hide. All we want is relief!!
II. An Unnamed Prophet vs.8-10
In response to the people’s cry the Lord send them a prophet. Vs.7-8
There is significance in the fact this prophet remains unnamed.
God had sent Him – That was important. People were to hear the message and not the man.
People are looking for the dramatic, the “big event”, the big name preacher or church.
Elijah did not find the voice of God in the Whirlwind, the Earthquake or the Fire, but God spoke to him in the still small voice.
Naaman was offended in 2 Kings 5:9-11 9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
God uses the simple, the obscure, the anonymous to do some of His greatest works.
Are you needing God to work in an impossible situation? Quit looking for the fireworks, and start listening for the still small voice of God in His Word.
It’s not important by whom or how it is delivered. What is important is that you receive it.
The power is in the WORD of the LORD!!!
1. Remind the people of the Past Works of the Lord vs.8-9
Primarily their deliverance out of Egypt and their occupation of the promised land.
2. Reestablish the rightful place of the Lord. “I am (STILL) the Lord your God”. Vs.10
“Fear not the gods of the Amorites”
The Amorites were once a great dynasty, as a people they predated Abraham and the Babylonian empire. They were in the days of the Judges a mountain-dwelling people.
3. Reprove the people for their Disobedience to God’s voice. Vs.10
III. An Unlikely Deliverer vs. 11-18
It is Gideon
God, in His mercy to Israel, raises up a judge.
Gideon is one of the most fascinating of the judges, not necessarily the most outstanding.
Gideon was from one of the smallest villages of Israel and was the youngest of, and only remaining son in his family. Which shows that God works through ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.
He was the son of a man named Joash, whose other sons had been killed by the Midianites.
They lived at Ophrah near the plain of Esdraelon to the south. Ophrah was apparently a center of Baal worship (vs.25).
Explain circumstances that find Gideon Threshing wheat in the winepress.
It was not yet harvest.
Threshing wheat by hand was slow and tedious work yielding very little result.
The reason for these actions was of course fear of the invading Midianites.
What characterized Gideon? What qualified him for Leadership
NOTE the following Characteristics of Gideon’s life which are immediately apparent.
A. Fear vs.11
This account merely reveals Gideon’s humanity, not character flaws for the purpose of our criticism.
He, after all, had not bowed the knee to Baal, though all around him including his family had adopted the worship of the heathen.
B. Faith vs.12-14
1. The Lord’s Appearance vs.12
2. Where is the Lord now? Vs.13
LOOK UP & READ II Corinthians 4:7-10
3. The Lord’s Commission Vs.14
“Have not I sent thee?”
C. Humility vs.15-16
Gideon’s humility is genuine.
This is just the sort of man God is looking for.
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…..”
Isaiah 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
The point at which we doubt our own sufficiency is the point at which God begins to use us.
D. Focus vs.11
What It Was
His concern was his own meager existence and the welfare of his family.
He is busy doing what he can to meet the legitimate need of those who depend on him.
Nothing is wrong with that, but God had more for him to see!!
ILLUS: Fear of losing our job, pressure of unpaid bills, anxieties of child-rearing/family relationships etc. Are all legitimate concerns, But God calls us to look above, to expand our horizons of reality.
In the Impossible Situation we are often focused on ourselves. We have therefore limited our vision.
Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
What God would have it to Be
The Plight of the nation – The Salvation of the nation. God’s plan was bigger than Gideon!!
Our focus should not be regional when God would have it Global. Not temporal when it ought to be eternal!!
John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
The Deliverance of Israel was Gideon’s own.
1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Your Impossible Situation may be more about what God wants to do through you than what He wants to do for you.
How Should I Face MY Impossible Situation?
1. When the situation is unrelenting – Don’t run from it, deny it, or ignore it. Give it to God!!
2. Remember the Unnamed Prophet – Look for God’s Answer in the Still Small Voice of His Word.
3. An Unlikely Deliverer? – Could it be that God wants to do something through You?
ILLUS: TESTIMONY of Nick Vujicic – Born with no limbs (arms or legs). Born in Australia in 1982 Nick was disillusioned in his younger years.
I felt like I was a burden to those around me and the sooner I go, the better it'd be for everyone. I wanted to end my pain and end my life at a young age, but I am thankful once again, for my parents and family who were always there to comfort me and give me strength.
But then as a teen ager he came to saving faith in Christ.
I completely gave my life to Christ at the age of fifteen after reading John 9. Jesus said that the reason the man was born blind was "so that the works of God may be revealed through Him." I truly believed that God would heal me so I could be a great testimony of His Awesome Power. Later on I was given the wisdom to understand that if we pray for something, if it's God's will, it'll happen in His time. If it's not God's will for it to happen, then I know that He has something better.
I now see that Glory revealed as He is using me just the way I am and in ways others can't be used.
I am now twenty-one years old and have completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Financial Planning and Accounting. I am also a motivational speaker and love to go out and share my story and testimony wherever opportunities become available. I have developed talks to relate to and encourage students through topics that challenge today's teenagers. I am also a speaker in the corporate sector.
Nick is now working on writing and publishing an autobiography. It’s Title? “NO Arms, NO Legs, NO Worries.”