Gideon's 300 Men
Sunday, April 10, 2005
ILLUS: On our recent trip to Israel, we were able to visit Gideon's cave and the spring of Harod that flows from the cave. We all got down on our knees and like Gideon's 300 men; we put our hands to our mouths and drank from the refreshing spring. Today the area is a nature reserve, with beautiful eucalyptus trees, picnic tables and plenty of green grass. It is located close to Beit Shean, the place where the bodies of King Saul and his sons were taken after they were killed.
1. The story of Gideon is an interesting story. Gideon
was the fifth judge of Israel, called by God to deliver Israel from the seven year judgment and suppression of the Midianites. The Midianites had continually ravaged the crops of the Israelites, forcing them to flee to the hills, living in caves, hiding what little they could of their crops. This is why we find Gideon threshing wheat by the winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites. The Bible says in (6:6), "Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites." And then it says, "And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord." Here we enter Gideon and his 300 men...
2. This morning I would like to give you three things
about Gideon and his faithful men:
I. They Were Chosen Men
II. They Were Careful Men
III. They Were Courageous Men
I. THEY WERE CHOSEN MEN
A. They were selected by God
1. As God chose Gideon, He would also handpick
the men who would help Gideon defeat the Midianites. At the outset, there were a total of 32,000 men. Of the 32,000, the Bible says 22,000 were fearful--they were afraid--they returned, leaving 10,000. God then told Gideon to put the remaining number to a test. "Bring them down to the water, and everyone that lappeth the water with his tongue as a dog lapeth, send him back home." Another 9,700 returned home. That left only 300 men...not too many: 300 against 135,000 Midianites (8:10). In the eyes of men, these were not very good odds. But, keep in mind; one man and God are a majority...in truth, God, By Himself, is a majority. Someone once said, "Man without God is nothing, God without man is still God."
2. What an honor--to be chosen by God for His
service. Think about it for a moment...the God of heaven, handpicking a man or a woman to do something for Him. That's rather amazing, wouldn't you say? Why would He choose one person over another? Why would He select this group of men? I believe this is the answer: obedience, faithfulness, dedication, loyalty and surrender--all synonymous, but all of it adding up to the individual whom God would use.
1) Here's a good lesson for us: If we want to
be chosen by God for something significant, we need to make advance preparations. We need to make certain we do all we can to make ourselves ready and qualified for His service. And who knows what God might do. ...
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