Monday, October 26, 2009

Don't be a Pansy Gideon, God will be with you!

Title: Don’t be a Pansy Gideon, God will be with you!

Interpretive Summary: The Lord gives Gideon two commands. The first command, “Go.” And the second command, “deliver Israel.” Sadly, Gideon makes excuses. Even through Gideon’s excuses God continues to say, “I will be with you.”

1. God reassures Gideon in verse 14. The Lord looks at him and says “Go in this your strength…deliver Israel…Have I not sent you?” When God tells Gideon to, “Go in this your strength.” God is basically saying the same thing He said to Joshua, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
2. The Lord is not telling Gideon to go and do everything on his own. He is reassuring him. “Go, in not thy might, but go in this thy might, this which thou hast now received, go in the strength of the Lord God, that is, the strength with which thou must strengthen thyself.” (Henry 250)1 In other words, “The strength Gideon possessed was a promise of the Lord’s presence with him. Gideon could exchange his weakness for God’s strength.” (Gaebelein 420.)2
3. Unfortunately, even though God has given him a job to do, Gideon makes excuses. He doubts his ability, qualifications, and possibly, even his calling to save Israel. Thus Gideon does not immediately rise to the task God has given him. I love this excerpt from the book The Greater Men and Women of the Bible “Don’t allow your heart to hold or utter such a thought as that you don’t trust God. Though you feel weak in faith don’t give way to distrust, don’t permit it in yourself. How often is that call given as a needful one…Hold fast the beginning of your confidence without wavering; for He is faithful that hath promised.” (Hastings 456.)3
4. "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man." (Judges 6:16b) Once again the Lord reiterates His protection and blessing. “God’s reassurance reaffirmed His presence with Gideon…and the ease of which he would accomplish the victory over the Midianites.”(Walvoord and Zuck 392.)4

Big Idea: God’s strength is sufficient.

Application: God will never ask us to do something that He will not give us the strength to accomplish. As Christians we can calmly rise to God’s call knowing that He is in control and will never leave us or forsake us. He will be glorified. In fact His strength is often perfected in our weaknesses and insecurities. As it says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Another way to explain it is, “But in the ways of the Lord, Gideon’s inadequacy allows room for what is most important and determinative in this mission: God’s presence and God’s strength.” (Keck 796)5

1 Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, p. 250.
2 Frank E. Gaebelein, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Vol. 3, p. 420.
3 James Hastings D.D. The Greater Men and Women of the Bible Vol. 2, p.456.
4 John F, Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, p.392.
5 Leander E. Keck, The New Interpreter’s Bible, p.796.

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