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Faith in the Weak

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Faith can be found in those who are weak like us.

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Faith can be found in those who are weak like us.

Well tonight we have the opportunity to look at Hebrews chapter 11 once again. Please open up your Bibles and please turn to .
For those of you who are new, haven’t been here in a while or may just need a reminder, we have been working out way through this amazing chapter in scripture. We have been talking about faith and men who displayed faith.
And tonight we arrive and verse 32 of chapter 11. Let me read our passage for the evening.
32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets,
This is our passage for the evening. And tonight we have broken this passage up. If you look down you will see 6 mentioned here. We will not be covering all these men tonight. Instead we will be looking at the first four. And with the first four men, we also four different men talking about them. First myself opening with Gideon, James Thomas with Barak, George Terry with Samson and Ryan Galland closing us with Jephthah. And we will leave David and Samuel to another weak.
This is our passage for the evening. And tonight we have broken this passage up. If you look down you will see 6 mentioned here. We will not be covering all these men tonight. Instead we will be looking at the first four. And with the first four men, we also four different men talking about them. First myself opening with Gideon, James Thomas with Barak, George Terry with Samson and Ryan Galland closing us with Jephthah. And we will leave David and Samuel to another weak.
But before we dive straight in to Gideon, I would like to look at our passage one more time.
Look what it starts off with...
32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of All these other people.
I love this, it shows an author who wants to tell us about the whole story, but just doesn’t have the time to do it. But he does name drop in sense and he drops these very familiar names that the original audience, the original Jews and possibly us are very familiar with. These men listed in verse 32 are essentially the Heroes of early Isreal. They were all very critical men in the history of nation of Israel who demonstrated their faith in God in crisis situations. These were weak, fallible, sinful men who faced situations that would strike fear down in each one of us, yet still demonstrated a true and remarkable faith that goes down through the ages. Their faith is as amazing today as it was way back then.
So lets take a look at Gideon, the first man on this list in verse 32. Now why does Gideon matter to us. Why are we taking the time to study him?
Well let me tell you why. Because Gideon is a man just like you and just like me. I want you remember that fact, Gideon is man just you and me. But before we see how we are like Gideon, I would like to take a look back to the book of Judges. Go ahead and turn back there, back to the crispy portion of your Bible. And open up to Judges chapter 2. Now for sake of time, I am not going to read this but I want to summarize what is talking about. But I want you to know where I am getting this from.
(NASB95)
6 When Joshua had dismissed the people, the sons of Israel went each to his inheritance to possess the land.
6 When Joshua had dismissed the people, the sons of Israel went each to his inheritance to possess the land.
7 The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel.
8 Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred and ten.
9 And they buried him in the territory of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
10 All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.
Israel Serves Baals
11 Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals,
12 and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the Lord to anger.
13 So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.
Alright here is really key phrase.
14 The anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies.
15 Wherever they went, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had spoken and as the Lord had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.
So what we have here and what we start out with is a group of people who had seen the amazing work that God had done from Egypt, to Jericho, to being faithful to bring them into the promise land. But as verse 10 says, ‘there arose another generation, who did see the which he had done.’
So another generation rises up and what do they do. They forsake Him, they leave him and they worship other gods and idols. And God is kinda done, it says that the anger of the Lord was kindled against Isreal. And the Lord’s hand was against them and He had given them to their enemies.
But God doesn’t just leave it there, he provides a way, he always provides a way. In verse 16, we see that God provides the judges, who would save. Now a judge a person that the Lord would raise up, Lord would be with and there primary function were to judge and interpret the law and also to protect the people.
In book of Judges it is known to be one of the darkest times for God’s people, from oppression to the point of people hiding and it is is a point where God’s people were so far from them. So God stopped protecting his people for the purpose of testing them. Now this a a perfect example of , it talks about how we to respond in trials because they are for the purpose of what? Of endurance, steadfastness, endurance.
God’s people would endure some horrific trials and they would cry out to the one true God for deliverance and God would send a judge. And when the judge was with them, they had safety and were liberated. And they were obeying God, but when the judge died they turned right back around and served other gods. This was a perpetual pattern with then. There a lot of reason why we all are happy that I am not god, but during this time especially. Because I would like, ‘I done. These people are the worst. I am going to go find a new people.’ But that is not what our God does. If you are a part of God’s people he never let you go. reminds of that, that no on will snatch out of my hand.
Now, with that as our background of this book, lets take into the life of Gideon and look at how we are similar to him and also what we can learn from him.
So flip a few pages over to chapter 6 in verse 11. Here you see the calling of Gideon to be a judge.
Point 1 is Gideon is called by God, Gideon is called by God
Flip a pages over to chapter 6 starting in verse 11.
(NASB95)
Flip a few pages over to chapter 6 in verse 11. Here you see the calling of Gideon to be a judge.
Gideon Is Visited
(NASB95)
11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.
Gideon Is Visited
12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.”
11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.
12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.”
Then I kinda picture Gideon responding, like looking over his shoulder saying who me?
Look what he says in verse 15 after the Lord tells him in verse 14 to go save Isreal from the hand of Mideon.
(NASB95)
15 He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.”
Gideon is in fear of what the Lord is asking from him. He is fearful of the Midianites and the task that God has given him. But Gideon who is well aware of his own weakness and his own shortcomings is the perfect vehicle to show off God’s power of deliverance.
We see Gideon show his first act of faith in tearing down his family’s altar to Baal (the god of the Midianites). Even though fearful, he shows his faith in the Lord, he tears down the altar and builds up an to the one true God.
But Gideon is not a man of perfect faith. He waivers and he tests God. But God shows compassion on him. Just just like he does with us. We waiver, we fail, we aren’t perfect. But God shows compassion and mercy to us as well.
But Gideon step in amazing faith and this may be the reason we see him make the list in the hall of faith. In the seventh chapter of Judges he and his troops are camped out near the Midianites and he is ready to go. He has his 32,000 soldiers going against a massive army
But,
The Lord said says to him, these are too many soldiers that you have. If you were to win this battle, you would boast in yourself, so lets cut it down.
So, at this point military strategy has been thrown out the window. After some odd instructions from the Lord, he is brought down to 300 men against a whole army.
But God gives him further strange instruction. He tells him to get pitchers, pitchers used to pour water, trumpets and torches and go find the Medianite army. You go find them.
Now up to this point in history, no one has fought a battle with torches, pitchers and trumpets. You might announce the battle with a trumpet. You have might have a torch if you want to protect yourself darkness, but that’s not how you fight a battle. It is in an absurd battle strategy, humanly speaking. And Gideon, if he were thinking the way any normal human being would think, would say, “Lord, I’m not moving an inch, are You kidding? You’ve paired me down to three hundred people and the only reason the three hundred are the three hundred is because of the way they drank water out of a stream? This is absurd.”
But that’s not what he says, he didn’t argue because his faith was so strong. He understood that on a human level this was definitely improbable. But he knew that the Lord was with him.
So he and his 300 troops follow the instructions that Lord gave them,
They split into 3 companies, they blow their trumpets, smash their jars and cry out to the Lord. And what happens next is an act from God. God set the swords of the Midianites against each other and the army fell.
How crazy is that? God calls a weak man and uses him in amazing ways.
God does the same for us. He pull us weak men and women out of our sin and uses us to bring himself glory. How amazing is that.
And you know what is even cooler, God gives the Isrealites Gideon here to save them, he gives them a weak and fallible man. But he gives us Christ. Christ who is the better, the better priest and the better savior.
Christ paid for all our sin. We are so much like the Isrealites, we are so sinful, but God is merciful and gives us a savior, a savior that is willing to die and pay the ultimate penalty for us. How great and how amazing is our God that uses weak men like us to do amazing things for him.
So with that, let’s be a people with remarkable faith, a faith that when things are going well and see victory in our life that we boast in him alone. And when we are in a trial we put our trust, our focus, and our faith in him because he is mighty to save.
Gideon thought of himself as a week man. And you see that he struggles
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