In reading through Judges 6, I became aware of several lessons that we can learn from Gideon. They are as follows:
1. Sin has consequences
Judges 6:1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
Mankind cannot escape the consequences of sin. This principle extends from Adam and Eve eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
The Apostle Paul reiterates the principle of sin and destruction in the New Testament:
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If you don't want the consequences of sin, don't sin!
2. God has given you a preacher
Judges 6:7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,
Judges 6:8 That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;
Judges 6:9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land;
Judges 6:10 And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.
The Children of Israel had sinned and because of their sinned they were "impoverished". God has the power to destroy the enemy as He states in Isaiah:
Isaiah 50:2 Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.
The first thing God did when the people cried out to him was send a prophet, a preacher. If this story sounds familiar, it follows a pattern that God had already used.
Exodus 3:9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
Exodus 3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Often times, when you are looking for a miracle, God gives you a preacher! The miracle is coming, but obedience is required.
3. God sees you as you will be and not as you are
Judges 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
When the angel appeared unto Gideon, he was not a warrior. He was not famous or accomplished. In fact, Gideon saw himself as a nobody.
Judges 6:15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.
It was God that saw something in Gideon that Gideon did not see in himself. God looks past our insecurities and weaknesses and exposes our strengths through Him. The Apostle Paul penned:
2 Corinthians 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
4. God is sovereign
Judges 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
Judges 6:14 And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
Have you ever questioned God? Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good people? Gideon did. He questioned God directly why His people were suffering. In reading this, I found it interesting that God did not answer Gideon's question. He looked at Gideon and told him that he was chosen to deliver his people. The answer was Gideon.
God is sovereign and does not have to answer our questions directly. We can wonder "why?", but God has already put his plan into place. We may not receive the answer that we want, but the answer can be found in the result of God's plan. Perhaps, you are the piece that God has chosen to direct His plan. Don't get caught up in the questions, just follow the plan.
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
5. You need to have a personal altar
Judges 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
After Gideon’s interaction with the angel of the Lord, he built an altar.
He named the altar Jehovah-Shalom or the Lord is peace. When we have an interaction with Jesus Christ it brings peace. He is the prince of peace.
This was a personal and private altar built by Gideon. We need an altar in our life. An altar is a place of sacrifice and death. There are not lay me down to sleep prayers at the altar. The private altar is a place of personal sacrifice and humility.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Our personal and private altar is where we interact intimately with the King of Kings. It is where we can hear His voice.
Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Pastor Terry Shock says, “If you can’t tell me where you pray then you probably don’t”.
If we want to connect to God and make it to heaven then you need a life of prayer away from Sunday morning.
6. We have to get rid of false altars
Judges 6: 25 And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old (representing the years of oppression), and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:
God was telling Gideon that he needed to get rid of a something before He could deliver Israel. There are times that we put up obstacles that are keeping us from being delivered.
There are times that we hinder our blessings because we are kneeling at the wrong altar.
Every religion in the world has an altar, but that does not allow them access to the Holy One of Israel.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
We cannot approach God in our way. We must approach Him His way and in doing so, we must tear out some altars in our life.
- Family (God needs to be first)
- Health (God wants us to be healthy, but we cannot worship our bodies)
- Fleshly pleasure
- Anything that you place before God
7. Build an altar in the church
Judges 6:26 And build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.
It was an altar of revival built upon a rock.
It was a public declaration that God was getting ready to do the miraculous.
Jesus speaking of the church that would “turn the world upside down” spoke:
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The church must have personal altars. We must tear down false altars in our lives but we must be a unified body praying kneeling on the foundation of the rock.
When the church prays:
- Miracles happen
- Lives are changed
- People are delivered
- Sinners repent
- People are baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost
- Our community will be impacted
- Prodigals return
- Revival is on its way