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A Useful Soldier

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Greg Cline

Preaching

5-24-05

“A Useful Soldier”

Judges 7:1-8; 16-22

            In this familiar story in Judges then Gideon was about to go to war against the Midianites.  The Israelite’s army started with a number of about 32,000 men against the Midianites who had about 135,000 men.  Because God didn’t want Israel to think that they were going to win by their own strength and power, God decided to reduce the number of men even more.  When the tests were all over, there were 300 men left.  Now a victory by Israel could only be a miracle.  God knows how we are prone to pride ourselves so he took care of it in a very unusual way.  But pride isn’t the main idea I want to preach on in this story.  There is a different idea that I want us to notice, “What kind of men did God use, and how should we apply their characteristics to our lives.”  Turn in your Bibles now to Judges 7.

I. The people of Israel that were afraid

A.    God needs us as Christians to not be afraid

1. In Joshua  then he speaks to the people about not fearing (Joshua 1:6,7,9)

2.    God sent home all the people in the army that were afraid 22,000 men (7:1-3)

B. We all experience fear, but that can’t control us

1. In 2 Timothy 1:7 then Paul says that God hasn’t blessed us with fear but with other stuff

2.    What is that stuff, we should replace fear with power, love, and a sound mind

II. The people of Israel that weren’t alert

A.    God needs us as Christians to be alert

1. God sent home 9,700 soldiers because they drank from the river with there heads in the water.

2.    I’m not dogmatic about why God sent them home, but we can draw a parallel that we need to be alert

3.    In Mathew 26:41 then Christ tells his disciples to “watch and pray”

B. To be alert we can’t be distracted

1. In 2 Timothy 2:3-4 we see that we can’t get caught up in the world if we’re going to be a good soldier

2. The people by the river wouldn’t have been alert and ready if the enemy were to attack, don’t be caught off guard in your spiritual life

III. The people of Israel that God used.

A. If you are not afraid and your are alert and ready, God can use you

1. God used the 300 men in the story mightily

2.    In verses 7-8 we see that God used those that passed the tests

B. Not to say God can’t use anyone, but if God is going to use you, you need to be ready by being alert and being courageous

So what am I getting at here, what is my big idea, we need to not have the characteristics of those that God sent home, and we need to be like those that God used to wipe out the army of Midian.  Christian, you need to not be afraid to serve God, you need to be prepared to serve God, and then God will use you no matter what kinds of talents or abilities you have.  God used jars, torches, and trumpets to take out an entire army, just think of how God can use you.

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