Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

California Conference 2006. Part 4.

California Conference 2006. Part 4.

Once his 32,000 troops are assembled Gideon becomes really concerned.

32,000 men are waiting for orders from a commander who is living in fear.

This time he is not afraid of the Arabs; this time he is afraid to command.

God sticks by his man even when the man fails.

Gideon has failed once again, and it is a great encouragement to all of us to realize the faithfulness of the Lord.

Divine power overcomes human frailty.
Divine patience is greater than human failure.

This will become quite obvious in the victory of the spiritual champion, as in Gideon, i.e. the grace orientation of God.

God will deliver the people through the frailty of human leadership.

Gideon does not earn or deserve the right to lead the Jewish army against the Arabs.

Gideon is about to do a very stupid thing; he is going to test God.

One of the signs of a weak believer who is still a baby is to do what Gideon is about to do, put out the fleece.

God’s Word is enough, and Gideon needs to be tested, not God; God is faithful!

Christians who have to put out the fleece are immature.

One promise from God is worth all of the miracles in the world.

Gideon is not immature, but he is afraid.
The ground was dry but the fleece was wet.

God’s grace is greater than Gideon’s failure.

Gideon deserved a bolt of lightning from heaven rather than a bowl of water on the ground.

In verse 37 he wanted a wet fleece and a dry ground.
In verse 39 he wants a dry fleece and a wet ground.

Gideon sure lacks nerve when it comes to fighting the Arabs, but when it comes to questioning God he sure has a lot of nerve.

Gideon may have lost his nerve in commanding an army, but he certainly hasn’t lost his nerve in insulting God.

The Arabs are still there, the miracles are still there, so Gideon as a leader will need personal love for God as his motivational virtue, not miracles.

Without proper motivation, Gideon will not have the nerve to lead the children of Israel.

The dynamics and the power of the Christian way of life reside in what God has said to us, i.e., Bible doctrine.

Miracles never advance an individual believer spiritually.

Miracles are easy for God to do.
The difficult thing is to get a believer to be consistent in the perception of Bible doctrine.

Anger is used as an anthropopathism, ascribing to God a human emotion He does not really possess, so that we identify with the principle.

Piel imperfect – masah = to tempt; to try; to prove; to test; this is an intense act on the part of Gideon.

Within ten days Gideon has seen fire come out of the rock in verse 21.

The miraculous disappearance of the angel of the Lord, verse 21.

People who appear to be humble, soft spoken, and spiritual are often the most arrogant of all.

1SA 24:6 Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.

The patience and kindness of God toward Gideon is a manifestation of the fantastic virtue of God.
God is using His own problem-solving device of agape love.

JDG 8:10 – the Arab army numbered 135,000 whereas Gideon is now set up, ready to battle with only 32,000 men – which are too many.

Now he is doing what every spiritual champion must do – listen.

The deliverance must be related to spiritual advance, not human talent, or human ability.

If the Jews were free from the Arabs without changing spiritually they would be worse off.

God is using the Arabs who are evil to restrain His own people from becoming even more evil.

No one would assume that a light-weight like Gideon could do anything without the Lord’s help.

This battle demands believers who are strong spiritually and who have the nerve to apply their metabolized doctrine.

They considered mental attitude to be one of their most important principles.

The N.E.B. –
“Anyone who is scared and frightened.”

Hebrew idiom = to depart now from the standard of the soldiers.
JOS 17:1 – the standard of the soldier Gilead who was a man of war.

Two-thirds of the Jewish army have been sent home on the basis of one thing: mental attitude.

LUK 14:31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand {men} to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?

The difference in success in warfare is the quality of soldiers, not the quantity.

“Victory in war does not depend on numbers or mere courage but upon discipline in training. Numerous armies of raw and undisciplined troops are simply masses of men being dragged to the slaughter.”

1SA 17:47 – the battle is the Lord’s.

Now that Gideon has learned to keep his mouth shut and his ears open, the road-blocks of his mind are being opened.

He is now outnumbered 135,000 to 10,000 and the Lord says this is still too many.

A dog drinks standing up.
The issue here is drinking with alertness.

9,700 troops concentrated on the water instead of on the enemy.

The concentration on the water represents concentration on the details of life or the necessities of life.

We now have filtered out or split off the entire army from 32,000 to 300!!

We are now down to 300 against 135,000.

The miracles did not prepare Gideon nor the 300 men – doctrine did.

All God has to do is use His own sovereignty; the believer’s will is not even involved in miracles.

Miracles do not change people; doctrine does.
Miracles do not change history; doctrine does.

It is the function of human volition that changes history.

All these miracles were designed to do is to take the road blocks out of Gideon’s soul so that he could now apply doctrine.

It should be called what the KJ’s says, their place.

These men are not cowards; they are simply men who have not been prepared. Therefore, they are simply not needed.

God uses prepared people.
Many are willing to fight or to serve or to give, but they are simply unprepared or untrained.

A willingness and desire to serve and fight the good fight of faith is no substitute for a prepared soldier.

The Jerusalem translation –
JER 48:10 “Cursed be he who does the work of Yahweh half-heartedly.”

NUM 32:6 Shall your brethren go to war and shall you sit here?

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