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Gideon Defeats the Midianites

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Gideon Defeats the Midianites

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Gideon Defeats the Midianites

Judges 7:1–18 AV
1 Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. 2 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. 3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. 4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. 5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. 6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. 7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. 8 So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley. 9 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. 10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: 11 And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. 12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. 13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. 14 And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. 15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. 16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. 17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. 18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
Gideon Defeats the Moabites
Judges 7:1–18
TODAY’S AIM
o Facts: to accept that God is able to use anyone who is willing to be faithful and obedient to Him.
o Principle: to learn that the weakest person who trusts and obeys the Lord is stronger than the mightiest person who trusts in himself.
o Application: to know that even when we do not understand what God is doing, it is important to always trust Him.
Since our last lesson, or previously in Judges 6 Gideon with the confidence of his affirmed call went and tore down the altar of Baal that his father was responsible for. He then erected and altar unto Jehovah and sacrificed to the LORD on it. The people were upset and wanted to put Gideon to death, but his father (who had been responsible for the Baal shrine defended him). This action earned him the name Jerubabaal (Let Baal plead), because Baal (if truly a god) should be able to defend himself.
The Midianites along with the Amalekites launched an attack on Israel. The Spirit of the Lord prompted Gideon to blew a trumpet and gather to gather an army. While he waited for them to assemble. Gideon asked the Lord to show him if the LORD would save Israel. He asked again for a sign this time it was using a sheep fleece. First time the fleece was put out and there was to be only dew on the fleece and not on the earth, the results a bowl full of water. The second time the fleece was to remain dry while the ground was covered with dew. So Gideon went forth to battle.
Now with an army and the promise of the LORD being with them the army heads to the battlefield with 32,000 troops. God wants Israel to be assured that He fought and won the battle so God whittles the army down to 300 men. Thus we enter our passage to discuss the leadership qualities of Gideon.

I. Gideon’s best quality of leadership is that he spent time making sure that God was the one that called him and was directing his steps.

II. God’s Promise of Victory vs 9-14

Deliverance Determined

9 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.
A. On the first night after gleaning the troops down from 32,000 to 300 soldier. That night Jehovah calls for Gideon to proceed towards the camp of the Midian’s and Amalekite’s. The reason is that God has already determined that they will be defeated.
a. God again is reassuring Gideon that He is the one that has determined the outcome. He is the one that will win the victory.
b. As far as God was concerned the enemy was defeated, the victory is as sure as the sun rising.
10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:
B. God allows Gideon to still have doubt, anxiety, fear.
a. Gideon is to go with his armor bearer, a servant or helper.
i. Not being a rich man, I doubt that it was a purchased slave, but a “private” given to assist the commander.
ii. Note the servant has a name, his part is recorded in the annals of Gods story for eternity. Rank and privilege have no effect on whether God will use a person.
iii. It is the willingness to trust the leadership that God places over them.
b. They were to down to where the enemy was camped. Close enough to hear their words, A dangerous place for two people next to an army numbered like grasshoppers.

Doubt Dispelled vs 11-12

11 And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.
C. There task was not to launch an attack but to gain intel. To listen to what is being said in the camp.
a. God lets Gideon know that what he hears will give him courage and strength. The confidence to go into the battle with a winning attitude.
b. Gideo and Phurah were obedient.
12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
D. The raiders were gathered together to go and reek havoc across the land of Israel.
a. Their numbers were great seemingly impossible to count. Not only was the army great but they had the speed and endurance of the camels to assist them.
b. For greater emphasis God lets us know that they seemed to go on for ever and insurmountable army with numbers that would fatigue the mind.

Dream Described

13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.
E. So, Gideon overhears a conversation in the camp. Remember now this is a vast camp and out of all the conversations going on with all the people their God directs Gideons ears to this conversation in order to encourage Gideon.
a. In a dream this soldier sees the food of a very poor man, a barley cake, actually what we might call a stale piece of white bread, or rice cracker.
b. This was a single dream, a simple blurb, most of us forget our dreams but this little dream left quite an impression, actually God placed it there and caused the man to speak of it in order to encourage Gideon.
c. This little object hits a tent and knocks it over and it falls down. Imagine me throwing a rice cracker at your house and knocking your house flat, not just break a window but flatten it.
14 And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.
F. The army had heard Gideons trumpet call, they were aware of the gathering of the armies of Israel, which they had defeated previously.
a. It was the leadership of Gideon, and the understanding that God was with them that allowed them to see the dream was a prophecy of the defeat they were about to endure.
b. The heathen recognized the power of the God of Israel and His ability to utterly destroy their vast army. God set a match to the dry timbers of fear in the hearts of these hardened men of war.
Application I. God can encourage us when we face insurmountable obstacles. It may be through an overheard conversation. It may be through a friend; it may be through the voice of the Holy Spirit that abides within.
Isaiah 40:1–2 1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.
Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
Application II. There is a reason the Holy Spirit is called the comforter, let Him draw near to you and give you words of encouragement. Let Him use a person, friend, neighbor, enemy to deliver the words and the care you need to press on with the task He has called you to face, deal with, do.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Ecclesiastes 4:1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
Application III. A friend and companion are an important part of encouraging us that we are not facing this obstacle alone. We need the strength and encouragement of friends. Our church family should be part of that encouragement and strengthening. Not discouragement and belittling.
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Job 4:3–4 3 Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. 4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.
Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Application IV. Listen, be still, quiet and let the Spirit of God continue to provide you the direction and encouragement you need to face the battles that He has called you to. Note the full spectrum is this well-known passage
Romans 8:28–30 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

III. God’s plan of Attack vs 15-18

Interpretation accepted

15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.
A. Notice that Gideon put all the pieces together and saw the hand of God and stopped to worship God. No music, no preacher just a simple heartfelt reflection on how uniquely God worked to encourage him in the task he had been called to.
a. Gideon returned quickly to the camp and called the men to arms. ARISE stand up and let’s get going.
b. He spoke with confidence be assured that the battle was the Lords, the Midian’s defeat was imminent.
c. He did not hesitate; he moved forward and encouraged the hand of his 300 men to get up and get ready to face the army. He did not wait for daybreak; he did not wait for reinforcements He did not wait for a fully developed plan. The Lord had directed and opened each door it was time to head out.
16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
B. God reiterates the size of Gideons army for our benefit only 300, now He had Gideon divide them into 3 companies of 100 apiece. He gave each man a trumpet, a water container, and a torch. The empty pitchers would hide the light of the torch, (no on/off switch).
a. Evidently God must have spoken to Gideon on the way back and put in his mind a most unique plan.
i. Who would go to battle at night, that was not a practice and not “appropriate”.
ii. Who would go into battle with their sword strapped to their side and not held in their hand?
iii. If attacking at night why bring a light so others can see you?
iv. Why burden, occupy your hands with pitchers, torches and trumpets.

Instruction Offered vs 17-18

17 And he said unto them, look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.
C. Gideon went with them and asked them in the darkness and over the distance they were scattered around the camp to keep an eye/ear out for Gideon’s signal.
a. They were to do as their leader did.
b. Gideon would be the first to expose himself, He would take the lead and was willing to draw the heat of battle because He was certain the LORD would be the victor.
18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
D. Gideon instructs them on the purpose and the plan for the strange gear in their hands.
a. When Gideon directs his team to blow the trumpets, all the other teams and individuals were to do likewise.
b. They would be placed on three sides of the camp. Which meant there would be obstructions of the line of sight not to mention the darkness of night.
c. They would all sound the trumpet, 300 of them. Usually only one trumpet would sound the battle cry. Joshua in the defeat of Jericho used only 7 trumpets. God continued to work in a different way. The cacophony would drive fear into the hearts of these seasoned soldiers. They would be set off balance.
d. They were to cry out “The sword of the LORD and of Gideon”, notice who was mentioned first. The master, the powerful the God above every other God.
i. The name of the same God that split the Red Sea, the same God that ravaged Egypt with 10 plagues, the same God that brought the defeat of those nations that stood against Israel as they took possession of the land promised to them.
ii. The Armies they shouted at would have all these victories flood their mind and drive fear into their hearts.
iii. Gideon is mentioned as the vessel God would use.
Application I. Leaders are an example, they lead the way, they direct the actions of those that trust and follow.
1. He must be willing to do his part to implement the plan and get those he leads to follow. Not push them in front and say go. He will have to initiate the plan from the front of the line.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Ezekiel 13:3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
Application II. If they don’t provide the leadership the people will wander in darkness.
Micah 3:6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.
Application III. Communication is essential. You may have a plan in your head, you know it and understand it but it has to be communicated to those that will have to implement it. This is one of the areas I am weakest in, communicating with others in a timely and complete fashion.
Galatians 6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Philemon 6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Application IV. Leaders can have confidence and success when they have spent the time to understand the plan that God gives them. The plan may not make sense to most people but it is from God.
Psalm 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

IV. God’s Power

Trumpets blown vs 19

19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.
A. Now Gideon and his band move into place to work the plan God has given to Gideon.
a. At the changing of the Guard, most of the men were sound asleep, with the change of the guard there would be a moment of distraction as the briefed each other.
b. They blew the trumpets, broke the pitchers that were concealing the torch or light, and they shouted.
c. The Sudden startling would have created even more problems as men woken from a deep sleep tried to get their bearings, as they listened to the shouts and sounds outside their tents or from the men as they scurried for their weapons in the dark. The only light would have been a small campfire and the lights from Gideons gang.
i. Surrounded on every side they felt outnumbered. Dazed and confused still half asleep they heard the rumors of the dream they heard the trumpets, the rush of feet all around them and in fear began to run.

Triumph Assured vs 20-21

20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
B. The rest did likewise, never raising a sword only their lights and their trumpets.
a. They continued their Mantra, cadence the name Jehovah echoing through the night and settling in the minds of the disoriented soldiers.
21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
C. Gideons team did not raise a hand they did not run in swinging swords but stood their ground followed their leader and let God create mayhem. They were all caught up in the mayhem, no way to avoid it (to bad they didn’t have Allstate teehee).
a. The end result was a total defeat of the Midianites. Two of their kings were captured and slain
Judges 7:28 Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.
Application I. Follow through is vital to complete success. If God gives us a plan, we need to see it all the way through.
1. This can be with plans involving others.
2. Or plans that God gives us to fight our inward struggles with sin and self-righteousness.
Psalm 112:1-6 1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. 2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. 5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. 6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. 7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
2 Peter 3:17–18 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ everyone of us that truly believes has the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Are we allowing Him (the Holy Spirit) to speak to our hearts and give us direction and guidance or are we too busy with our favorite pastimes? If we give God a little time every day and listen for His voice, He will reveal to us the actions that will be necessary to be a success in His eyes. He will give us the wisdom to lead those He gives us charge over. But it starts with listening for His voice. God very rarely will thunder from heaven to gain our attention. He wants us to seek Him. Will you give Him that time. How about taking your Sunday School book? In the very back of the book there is a list for daily readings, usually no more than 10 verses, start there and allow Him to reveal His will and His ways to you this week.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

If don’t make an effort to taste you will never see that the Lord is God. You will never learn to trust in Him and you will miss a multitude of blessings.

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