Chardon church of Christ

Sermons from the Chardon church of Christ

Things To Know For Times Of Trouble

Posted on April 2nd, 2019

Things To Know For Times Of Trouble
Judges 6:1 – 7:15

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed between the pages.

'Momma, look what I found,' the boy called out.

'What have you got there, dear?' his mother asked.

With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered: 'I think it's Adam's suit!'

• How many of you have had a life where you have had no difficulties? Life has been easy with no challenges. I would venture to say there are not too many people who can lay claim to a life without challenges and difficulty.
• How many times have you been in the midst of a difficult time and you just did not know what to do, you did not know where to turn. In desperation you cried out to God for help.
• When we get in tough situations we feel very helpless. Sometimes we feel so helpless that we forget that God can use us as part of the solution to the problem.
• When we feel helpless, there are a lot of things that we seem to forget regarding God and our problem.
• Today we are going to look in the book of Judges Chapters 6 and 7.  I want to look at someone who was in a terrible situation and I want us to look at some things that we need to know for times of trouble.
• The nation of Israel was in the throws of oppression, this time at the hands of the Midianites. The nation had enjoyed close to 40 years worth of prosperity and peace after Jabin had delivered them from the last oppression.
• Near the end of the 40 years, the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. Now they were in the middle of 7 years of oppression at the hands of the Midianites. Each year during the harvest the Midians along with their allies would sweep into Israel and take all the grain and livestock they could take, thus ruining the harvest for the nation. READ Judges 6:3-6
3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east; they came up against them; 4 and they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. 5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents; they came in as locusts for multitude; both they and their camels were without number: and they came into the land to destroy it. 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah.
• The nation was scared. Listen to verse 2 of chapter 6. “The power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.”
• The nation of Israel was desperate to the point that they were once again crying out to God. JUDGES 6:6&7
• The nation was at a low point and they felt abandoned by God and they did not know what to do. Have you ever felt that way? They were so absorbed by the problem that the people could not see what to do in order to fix it.
• From our story today I want us to look at some things we need to know for times of trouble.
During times of trouble we need to know that:
I. GOD UNDERSTANDS THE REAL PROBLEM- 6:1-10
• How many times do we find our selves in a situation where we really do not see what got us unto the situation, or maybe down deep we knew why things were happening but we did not want to admit it?
• The nation had to know why they were in the throws of oppression; it is not like it had never happened before.
• Nevertheless the people were distraught. Verse six told us that the nation was at a low point.
• It has amazed me in my own life how many times I would be in the middle of something and not really want to acknowledge what the real problem was. How many times has this happened with money?
• The nation cried out to God. What did God do? He came in and immediately pushed the oppressors out of the county! WRONG.
• READ 6:7-10
7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto Jehovah because of Midian, 8 that Jehovah sent a prophet unto the children of Israel: and he said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;
9 and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land; 10 and I said unto you, I am Jehovah your God; ye shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell. But ye have not hearkened unto my voice.
• God gave them an answer in a strange way. God sent an unnamed prophet to let the nation know WHY they were having the problems they were facing. God did not give the people what they wanted, but instead what they needed. They needed to know why the oppression was happening
• In order to fix a problem, we need to know what the real problem is. If I thought my money problems resulted from a lack of money instead of a lack of discipline, as soon as I would get more money, I would just face more problems until I took care of the real issue.
• For the Israelites, the real issue was not the oppression, but instead their lack of obedience towards God.
• God knows what your real issues are so He can help you in your times of trouble.
During times of trouble we need to know that:
II. GOD KNOWS YOU CAPABILITIES 6:11-16
• Let’s look at what God was about to do. READ 6:11-16
11 And the angel of Jehovah came, and sat under the [a]oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him, and said unto him, Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valor. 13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh, my lord, if Jehovah is with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where are all his wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not Jehovah bring us up from Egypt?
but now Jehovah hath cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian. 14 And Jehovah [b]looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent thee? 15 And he said unto him, Oh, Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my [c]family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. 16 And Jehovah said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
• God is about to offer a solution for the people through a most unlikely source. We do not know what attracted God to Gideon.
• An angel of the Lord comes to Gideon and more or less tells Gideon he is the solution to the problem the nation is facing.
• When Gideon is called by God, Gideon challenges the angel in verse 13. He wants to know why they are in the shape they are in and why God has done nothing about it.
• The angel tells Gideon that Gideon in going to deliver the nation.
• Gideon does not feel qualified to be one to lead the nation out of oppression.
• Gideon had many strikes against him. He was the youngest son; in a family the youngest son was not usually very highly esteemed. He was from an obscure family (Verse 15). Not only that but Gideon’s father is part of the problem, he was an idolater himself (Judges 6:28).
• Even with all the strikes against him, God knew Gideon’s capabilities. Notice in verse 12 the angel calls him a valiant warrior. This is kind of a strange greeting considering there was a good possibility Gideon was hiding while beating out the wheat lest it got taken from him.
• It was time for Gideon to quit feeling helpless and start feeling empowered! The angel tells Gideon in verse 14 to: "Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?"
• Look at verse 16. “But the Lord said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man."
• Notice the lord tells Gideon that He sent him and that He will be with him and that through Gideon, Gideon would defeat the Midianites!
• When we get into difficult situations, we forget that God knows what we can and cannot do. God will not call us to do what we cannot do unless He is going to be there with us. We MUST remember “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
• We need to also need to remember, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
• No matter how small, insignificant, young or old you are, God can use you for great things!
During times of trouble we need to know that:
III. GOD WILL LEAD YOU THROUGH SOME TOUGH ACTIONS 6:25-32
• When we have issues in our lives that need attention, there are times that God will lead us to do some tough things, to make some tough choices.
• Before Gideon could cleanse the nation of it’s’ idolatry, Gideon was going to have to do some house cleaning of his own first. READ 6:25-27
25 And it came to pass the same night, that Jehovah said unto him, Take thy father’s bullock,
[g]even the second bullock seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the Asherah that is [h]by it; 26 and build an altar unto Jehovah thy God upon the top of this stronghold, [i]in the orderly manner, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt-offering with the wood of the Asherah which thou shalt cut down. 27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as Jehovah had spoken unto him: and it came to pass, because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city, so that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.
• Gideon was called to clean up his house. Gideon was willing but afraid to do it so he did it at night.
• Many times the road to recovery starts with us. I wonder how many times we really know this but are unwilling to face it.
• Sometimes God will lead us to do things that are not popular with other people. Look at verses 28-30. The people were not too happy with what Gideon did, but it had to be done. Sometimes you will need to do some things that are not popular, but they are things that need to be done.
• It is interesting how Gideon’s father defended Gideon. He says that if Baal is real, Baal will take care of it.
During times of trouble we need to know that:
IV. GOD WILL GIVE YOU THE CONFIDENCE YOU NEED 6:36-40, 7:10-15
• When we are called to do some drastic things, God will give us the confidence we need to accomplish the task at hand.
• After Gideon took the stand and decided to obey God, he gained confidence. When the Midians heard about what happened, they gathered all their allies and Gideon send messengers out to build his army to go up against them. (Judges 6;32-35)
• Judges 6:36-40 gives us an interesting exchange. Follow with me. READ JUDGES 6:36-40.
36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast spoken, 37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing-floor; if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the ground, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast spoken. 38 And it was so; for he rose up early on the morrow, and pressed the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once: let me make trial, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. 40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
• Gideon still lacked a bit of confidence. He asked God to show him a sign. Gideon put out the fleece. Notice that God did not scold Gideon for a lack of faith, but instead He did what Gideon asked, not only once, but twice!
• I know when I have had to face some tough choices in life and I felt God was leading me one way, I have “put out the fleece” asking God for a conformation.
• We also see God giving Gideon another sign in Judges 7:10-15.
• God gave Gideon the confidence he needed to accomplish the task at hand.
• God will do the same for you if you seek Him.
During times of trouble we need to know that:
V. GOD EXPECTS TOTAL DEPENDENCE ON HIM 7:1-14
• How many times has God bailed you out of something or helped you in a time of need only for you to take the credit and for get what God had done for you?
• In Chapter 7:1-4, Gideon has an army an army of over 32,000 men respond to his call. IF you had 32,000 plus men, would you feel a bit more confident in your chances?
• God told Gideon He had too many people in the army so it was time to reduce the number.
• READ Judges 7:1-2
Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and encamped beside the spring of [p]Harod: and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them, [q]by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
2 And Jehovah said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

• God did not want Israel taking the credit for something they did not do.
• READ VERSE 3.
3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and trembling, let him return and [r]depart from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
• Well, 22,000 left with the first test. Well, 10,000 is not too bad.
• God said, “too many”. So God told Gideon to have the men drink at the river and separate the ones who lap the water like dogs from the ones who kneel to drink. (7:5-8)
• Now Gideon has a whopping 300 people left.
• How were 300 men going to defeat several thousand of the enemy? It could only be God. Sometimes things will not get better for us until we are ready to rely on God. DO you think Gideon would have been successful if he would have told God He was crazy and went to battle with the 32,000 men? Do you think you will succeed if you do the same?
During times of trouble we need to know that:
VI. THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD 7:15-22
• How many times have we tried to go out to battle on our own?
• Through this whole process, did God expect Gideon to do battle without Him? Did God expect Gideon to defeat the Midians without His help?
• NO!
• Does God want you to do battle on your own with Him? NO!
• Gideon took the 300 men he had and divided them into three companies. Judges 7:19-22.
• Always remember, the battle belongs to the Lord. You are not going it alone! Gideon did the impossible with 300 men and the Lord.
CONCLUSION
• When we are having trouble in our lives, know that God is with you.
• Do not wait until all seems lost to go to God. Start with Him.
• Gideon was a man whom would not have been chosen to lead the nation out of oppression, but God knew there was something special about him.
• When we start realizing that through God we have power and strength, nothing will defeat us! We will stand strong and we will realize that the battle belongs to the Lord!

 Based on a sermon given

by Jeffery Anselmi

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