I am preaching Sunday night, and will camping out in Judges 6. I can relate with how Gideon tries to disqualify himself from service in God’s work, but how God uses the ordinary to do his work:
Sunday, September 2, 2012 Sermon Outline Judges 6:1-14 (15-24)
The story of Israel
- Abraham, Joseph, Egypt, Moses and the Exodus, Joshua and the Promised Land
- The book of Judges
- The generation after Joshua and the importance of passing on the faith
- cycle of unfaithfulness, oppression, desperation, cry for help, deliverer sent,
- Midianties were the oppressors
- destroyed crops, sheep and cattle
- destroying their livelihood
- Israel in hiding, living in fear
- in desperation cried out to God
- Before God sends a deliverer he sends a prophet
- Midianties were the oppressors
a. to remind them of God’s gracious activity through their history
b. to remind them they weren’t alone on purpose
c. they had chosen their predicament by turning away
- Gideon: Mighty warrior or mighty worrier?
- Gideon is living in doubt, in fear, acknowledges the brokenness around him and doesn’t see any way out
- V. 14, the Lord reassures him
- The “WHY” Questions?
- we have asked some of our own
- sometimes there is no answer (Job), sometime there is
- The “WHY” can frustrate us to point of giving up
- They WHY questions miss the point:
- the why centers on our personal happiness or sense of right and wrong
- What if we aren’t the end all be all of what is right, true and beautiful in the world? What if God really does have all wisdom, and knows what is best for us, better than we do? What if God’s thoughts are really higher than our thoughts?
- If Gideon stays in his comfortable “why,” God can’t use him
D. Reframing the question/asking a better question
i. The angel reframes Gideon’s question from why to what!
a. What or How are you going to make a difference?
ii. The rest of the story
a. Gideon is called by God
b. God promises to be with Gideon
c. Gideon has two neat encounters with Yahweh
i. the consumed offering – God is present
ii. the fleece – God is powerful
iii. a. cf. Matthew 23:23-24
a. From the book not a fan: pp 82
“Woe to you fans, if you would be as passionate about feeding the poor as you are your church’s style of worship, then world hunger would end this week. Woe to you fans, if you sacrificed as much to care for the homeless and hungry in the community as you do for your church building or place of worship, the need would be wiped out. Woe to you fans, if you would as zealous about caring for the sick as you are a ‘Christmas tree’ being called a ‘holiday tree’, health insurance wouldn’t be a problem” (Kyle Idelman, Not A Fan, p., 82)
b. cf. Matthew 5:13-16
i. We are called to be Salt and Light in the world
a. as we empty ourselves of ourselves, and get filled up with God and journey back down the mountain of the beatitudes, we get filled up to be poured out for the benefit of others (Matthew 5:1-12)
ii. we have a mission in the world
a the three greatest commandments: (idea from Hole in our
Gospel, Richard Stearns)
1. Love God – cf. Mat 22
2. Love others – cf. Mat 22
3. make disciples of all nations- cf. Mat 28
b. cf. Ephesians 2:10
3. The angel’s question to Gideon is a question to us
A. What are you going to do about the injustices in your world?
B. The Bible announces that God is on the move
i. That is what this text today reminds me in Judges 6, that in spite of the trying times
around us, or our failings in the past, God has a plan, and is on the move and inviting us
to be a part of what he is doing in the world to reclaim and redeem it
C. These are devastating times:
i. “1.75 billion people are desperately poor, 1 billion people are hungry, millions are
trafficked in slavery, and pandemic diseases are gouging entire nations. Each year nearly 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade. And within the last five minutes almost 90 children died of preventable diseases. More than half of all Africans do not have access to modern health facilities. As a result, 10 million of them die each year from diarrhea, acute respiratory illness, malaria, and measles. Many of these deaths could be prevented by one shot” (Max Lucado, Outlive Your Life, p. 5)
a. Sources: UNICEF and globalissues.org
ii. LRA and KONY, from Hole in Our Gospel
C. Yet in the midst of this wreckage, the church is positioned to follow the promptings of God in the world, and meet these needs.
i. So instead of asking God why has he allowed these terrible things 2 happen, we
learn from the angel in Judges 6 a better question is “what are you doing 2 do about
ii. I love the quote from St. Teresa of Avila:“Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which is to bless us now.” — St. Teresa of Avila
D. So what will we do in the face of “WHY” moments?
1. Will you/we live in fear like most of Israel in Judges 6?
2. Or will we dare trust that God is up to something bigger than we could have ever imagined?