No other gods – Part 2

This is the second post in a two post series entitled, “No other gods”. If you haven’t already check out part 1.

Last week we saw that Gideon, like all the rest of Israel, was relying on gods that could not save them to fix their problems. Little did he know that that’s what was creating the problems in the first place!  Gideon was called by the Lord to take his place as “a man of valor” against the enemy. But he had placed other gods before God which clouded his judgement and left him in blaming God for the problem. 

Our Text

16 And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall [e]defeat the Midianites as one man.”

17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. 18 Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.”

And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”

19 So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. 20 The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.

21 Then the Angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the Lorddeparted out of his sight.

22 Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.”

23 Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it [f]The-Lord-Is-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the [g]wooden image that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this [h]rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the Lord had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night.

Judges 6:16-24

As we pick up from here we see Gideon preparing an offering.  Gideon places the broth and unleavened bread on the rock. Then the Angel touches them and the rock consumes them with fire.  

This is very symbolic of what Jesus came to do on the cross. He came to consume our flesh (or the old) us with the fire of the Holy Spirit.  The old things passed away at the new birth and we are made new. 

After this Gideon built an altar to worship God. It’s important to notice that when Gideon turned from his ways God didn’t require him to tear down all the idols before building the altar in verse 24.  God takes us just as we are in spite of what other gods we put in our lives.  

Tear Down Other Alters

But in verse 25-26 we see Him say in the same night to tear down the other alters.  God is not interested in making you become perfect before you worship Him and speak with Him, but after being in His presence it should be a natural thing to begin tearing down the other alters.  

In verse 26 we see Gideon using the same wood that was used to worship the false god to worship the true God with.  He used his mistake to give glory to God.

33 Then all the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the East, gathered together; and they crossed over and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. 35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.  

Now after he tore the idols out of his life. Gideon started to see success in what he did.  In verse 34 we see that “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon”.  God can work with those whose affections are set on Him.  

No other gods means Gideon wasn’t Alone

9 It happened on the same night that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, 11 and you shall hear what they say; and afterward [b]your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outpost of the armed men who were in the camp. 12 Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were [c]without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.

13 And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, “I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.”

Judges 7: 9-13

15 And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand. 16 Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’ ”

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!21 And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. 22 When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to [d]Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

23 And the men of Israel gathered together from Naphtali, Asher, and all Manasseh, and pursued the Midianites.

Judges 7:15-23

It’s important to see that God did not just leave Gideon on his own.  He gave Gideon the small army of 300 but in verse 10 He tells Gideon to hear what the enemy is saying.  God gave Gideon the opportunity to listen and gain faith before going to battle.  

Gideon was Thankful

Also see that Gideon then worshiped God after receiving faith but before actually seeing the manifestation of his enemies defeated.  True faith will always see what may not be physically known as having already happened.  In Gideon’s mind the battle was already his and it was no problem to take the victory. 

This same thing led him to take charge and tell his men how they were going to win the battle.  He had the specific action steps simply by worshiping and having the faith that the battle was his.  He didn’t stop and wait for a word of the Lord on how they needed to defeat the enemy. It wasn’t about what angle they needed to approach from or what things they needed to do.  Instead, Gideon just attacked in faith knowing that it wasn’t by HIS ability but by God’s that the victory was won in the first place. It didn’t really matter how he got started only that he did what God was saying to do. 

Thank God BEFORE you see it

Sometimes this is the hardest thing we as Christians can do.  We spend hours waiting on God and when He gives us His Word and we receive faith instead of worshiping Him and thanking Him for the answer even though we don’t see all the completion of it.  We sit around and continue to wait until we know everything before we start doing anything.  That isn’t faith that’s just waiting until you’re sure everything will work out because you’re sure that YOU can do it all because YOU now understand how to do it all.

No Other gods means Victory

Gideon went on to defeat this army and many more.  He was blessed beyond measure because  blessing naturally comes to those who have the faith and action to receive it.