I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:
TO GUIDE AND PROVIDE (part 3)
Gideon: Beauty For Ashes
Text: Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
VI. THE MAGNANIMOUS AND THE MIRACULOUS
Herein is the part of our story that student of the Bible will differ until the Lord returns. Some say that Gideon had no business using what appears to be a superstitious method to discern the will of God. And those who hold this view are adamant that we (in the Church age) should never try this method. I lean toward the other view, that is that God used the simple method to calm a doubting mind. There was trouble in the land and there was still some trouble in the heart of this chosen servant, Gideon, so God condescended to Gideon’s fleece test. You must agree, God did not rebuke Gideon for this. I will agree, that it may not be wise to put a literal fleece out for God, but I can see a principle involved. My preacher dad would from time to time put “out the fleece” for God to make His will clear for him. Granted, if one is not in right relationship with the Lord, it could be a dangerous thing to put out a fleece. But as we have seen in our previous point in this message, Gideon was right with God. I submit to you the utter kindness of God in leaning down to give His servant extra assurance when it is needed. Psalm 117:2a “For his merciful kindness is great toward us…”. Psalm 31:21, “Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.”
VII. THE CHAMPS AND THE LAMPS
It was more than a group of men with lamps, they also had pitchers trumpets! What a victory! What a battle! Gideon started out with 32,000 men and the LORD declared that was too many, lest the men boast they they won the battle themselves. So Gideon said if anyone was afraid to go home. And 22,000 men left! Now there are 10,00 men remaining. And the LORD declares this is yet too many. Gideon then gave the water test. And those that got on their knees to drink were asked to leave, which were 9,700 men. Only 300 lapped the water like a dog by bringing it up to their mouths were chosen to go into the battle.
Gideon’s faith was once again bolstered as we see God condescending in such a beautiful way, showing through the dream of one of the enemy soldiers that God’s plan was sure. (Judges 7:9-14).
Gideon’s 300 surrounded the innumerable host of the enemy’s camp and with lamps inside pitchers and trumpets on their hands wrought through God one of the most magnificent battles in the Bible. God doesn’t need the might of man nor His weapons of war. God want surrendered men and women, then He will show us what only God can do. I Samuel 17:47, “And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands. Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”