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Sermon – 2/29/04
Judges 6:13 - The Interview

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The Interview

And Gideon said to Him, ‘O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us” (Judges 6:13)

Have you received a “call” from the Lord in your life?  Many have.  Each time someone steps into a pulpit, enters the missionary field, or prays for someone who needs the touch of God, it is because of a call from our Lord.  You may not always see it, but it is God who draws you to perform acts of kindness toward others.  Has it occurred to you that when God touches your heart to do some good thing, you are in the presence of the King? – At such a moment, you can ask Him questions, and at such times, He is likely to answer, if not directly, then through His written Word.

Gideon was in His presence.  Or at the very least, he was with someone who was God’s personal representative.  When we meet Gideon, he was hiding in his father’s wine press, threshing wheat in such an unlikely place because he was afraid the Midianite conquerors of Israel would find his wheat and take it away.  The “angel of the Lord” suddenly was in that small place with him, uttering words that should have embarrassed this very fearful man: He said to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12).

It was then that Gideon began asking questions, first of the “angel of the Lord” who initially spoke to him (Judges 6:12), and then apparently of the Lord Himself, which is suggested in the next verses: “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” (Judges 6:14).  As this historical narrative of Gideon continues, we see that he WAS very fearful, and this “might” that would “save Israel,” was actually the power of God.  As Paul the Apostle would note, 1,000 years later, God delights in choosing “the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27).  If we are weak, it does not disqualify us from God’s service.  In fact, our usefulness to Him is actually enhanced if we go in HIS strength and not in our own.

When you are prompted to act in God’s name, for His purposes, you can ask questions.  Such an action is called “prayer” and it is a privilege extended to all mankind.  It was not only Gideon who had a lot of questions at the time of his call, but we also find similar concerns exhibited by Moses (Exodus 3), Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 6), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1), Mary (Luke 1:34 & context), Nathanael (John 1:45 & forward), and others.  They essentially interviewed God, and He is not surprised when we do the same.

Have you seen the work of what is called an “investigative reporter?”  When someone has a notable life or experiences something very unusual, they often appear on the news, ending up on a show like CNN’s “Larry King Live,” where many questions are asked.  People are very curious and will watch those who become “famous” with great interest.

God is certainly an infinitely notable Person, and would be a “Catch” for anyone who does interviews.  At the time God touches you for service, like entering a mission field or even if it is “just” to pray for a person near you, it is your right to ask:  Why?  He is neither troubled nor deterred by questions that come from an honest heart.  Gideon, as we shall see, WAS willing – It was just that He felt insufficient for God’s service.  The Lord will respond to your honest concerns, but like Gideon, you should also GO when He calls.

Have you thought about prayer?  Why would God “call” someone like you or me?  Why would He LISTEN to OUR prayers?  The obvious answer is that He loves us.  Have you spent time around babies or very young children?  They’re not ready to compete in great sporting events, or to run for public office, or become the president of a corporation.  We UNDERSTAND they are not ready for such things.  But we love them and accept them, just as they are.  They’re cute and we’re delighted by them.  When they act in a negative manner, we look for ways that we might forgive and bring them back into a relationship of love.  That’s exactly how God feels about you and me.  He loves you so much He wants to forgive the wrongs you have done, and that is precisely why He sent Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the world.

As you read the story of Gideon, it’s almost embarrassing to see his responses to the Lord.  Yet, the Lord did not shout at him or rebuke him.  Instead He continued to gently call this little man to His service, until at last, Gideon reluctantly, one step at a time, went in the direction that God intended.  Has it occurred to you that Gideon was likely the BEST of his generation?  The Lord may well have reached out to others who would not leave the “wine press” or even worse, attempted to carry out His will in their own strength.

When you think God is calling you, consider Gideon.  If God would listen and respond to the questions of such an utterly weak person, then He will respond to YOUR prayers, as well.  He loves you just as much as Gideon, and delights in sending those who cannot do what God has asked, and He also intends for you to understand.

Now, He MAY or may not immediately answer your questions.  You may just GO, and you will finally know “Why”, many years or decades in the future.  You may not fully understand until you are in eternity.  But ask if you want, unless He instructs you to NOT question Him; and then GO – in His time He will answer.

Gideon continued to ask questions, for he was filled with honest and reasonable doubts about his own abilities.  You may or may not remember the popular book of some years ago, “I’m OK, You’re OK.”  Gideon was not “OK” and he knew it.  He wanted to know “Why” about many things (as in Judges 6:13), and the Lord responded with the scary command, “Go…” (next verse), tempered by the reassurance, “I will be with you” (verse 16).  The man continued to ask for “signs” over the next several days, such as the “fleece” of verses 36, 37 and forward.  You couldn’t ask for someone more insecure than Gideon, and yet God, who did not need this man at all, continued to gently lead him, until at last, the Midianites were indeed defeated through him.

Why does God listen to us?  We don’t truly know, but aren’t you glad that He does?  And if God listened to this man Gideon, don’t you think that God will listen to you?

Father, we trust in Your Son, Jesus Christ, and because of Him, we know You hear us.  Thank You, Lord.  We love You.  Where You lead us, we will go.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.


Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

www.FridayStudy.org

www.FirstChurchontheNet.org

E-mail:
Ron@FridayStudy.org
Tel: (562) 688-5559
PO Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

 


 
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