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INTRODUCTION:

The divine announcement made in the winepress (6/12) now becomes a reality. The man who was fearful, skeptical, uncertain, reluctant, timid and insecure now becomes what God has called him - "mighty warrior"!! We have walked with Gideon through various stages of preparation - each one is vital as God makes Gideon to be that new name.

 

 [1] THE SUPREME RESPONSE  (vs.9-15)

 

The preparation is almost complete - "mighty warrior" is almost a reality - the promise is about to be honoured. We saw God's call on the life of Gideon; the declaration of 6/12; the demonstration (6/19-23); the fleece (6/36-40).

 

We saw Gideon's response - skepticism (6/13); confusion (6/15); obedience (6/25-27) But there is still one supreme, indispensable response needed before the battle can be engaged and won. That response is found in 7/15 - WORSHIP.

 

Everything else is gathered into this word. There is nothing more important in the story of Gideon than the centrality of this verse. Why?

 

a. Because a person engaged in true worship, on their knees, becomes a powerful weapon in warfare.

 

b. Because worship puts God at the centre of vision, goals & purpose. Worship is our greatest call and priority.

 

c. Because worship focuses us upon God - not our weakness, or our enemy, or our natural resources.

 

d. Because worship precedes warfare. This is so often true in the Old Testament. Take time to read about Moses in Exodus 3/1-6 and Joshua in Joshua 5/13-15 as well as Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20 - especially v.18

 

NOW Gideon is ready to lead the people into victory - vs.15-18

 

Question: Can you identify the qualities of a leader in Gideon at this point? What qualities emerge in his life as you hear him say:

1. "Get up!" _________________

2. "The Lord has given you victory over the Midianites" _____________________

3. "Do exactly as I do" _________________________

 

[2]  THE DECISIVE BATTLE   (vs.16-25)

 

A. THIS IS GOD'S BATTLE

From the beginning, this was never going to be Gideon's battle in the sense that his ability secures the victory. It was God's battle as to how, when, where, with what resources and with what results. Here is a selection of verses that emphasize this truth.  *6/12  *6/16  *6/34  *6/36  *7/2  *7/7  *7/9  *7/15 .  The same was true for Moses and Israel at Red Sea - Exodus 14/13,14. It was God's battle.

 

B. THIS IS GOD'S STRATEGY

This is only time that clay pots and fire torches were used to defeat an enemy. The principle is this: in spiritual warfare we cannot presume concerning the tactics. There is no one sure-fire method that works every time we are involved in warfare. Jesus used many "methods" or "strategies" in his ministry to people - He co-operated with His Father.

 

Question: Can you recall some of the 'methods' Jesus used as he went about preaching and healing? Read John 5/19 and John 12/49,50.What do you learn about Jesus' approach to each situation and opportunity He faced?

Recall 7/2,3 - the only explanation for this amazing victory is the power of God accomplishing the impossible. The enemy panicked & self-destructed. The seemingly insignificant overcame the seemingly invincible. We ought not to be intimidated by seeming strength of opposition.

 

Read again the story of David & Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 and be encouraged about the final outcome of our battle. Read John 16/33 - "I have conquered the world!" This is the Jesus we follow. And His victory is our victory.

 

APPLICATION: The Cross of Calvary represents the ultimate conflict & victory Some insignificant preacher from up Nazareth way overcomes powers of darkness The victory was God's and the enemy was struck a mortal blow.

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