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Propped-Up Like Gideon

Propped-Up Like Gideon

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Propped-Up Like Gideon

By Pastor Cary Gordon

Introduction: Explain calling to defend Biblical marriage. Explain sufferings of the church. Explain successful removal of three Supreme Court Justices. Explain influence born through adversity. Explain supernatural grace given in a window of time and the moment it was removed that Saturday night by a phone call for Governor Jindal’s man. I have just conducted a wedding earlier that afternoon (their first kiss was when I said “You may now kiss the bride”) and all the presidential candidates have just been asked “Would you attend a gay wedding?” I told them to display obedience to Ephesians 5:1-12 when asked.

Illustration: Molly asked, “What are you preaching on tomorrow?” I said “Gideon.” She said, “Why Gideon?” I said, “Because I feel outnumbered and hopeless, and I feel like I can’t be defeated at the same time.”

Illustration: Explain how I lost my wedding ring just short of our 20th wedding anniversary.

Read Judges Chapter 6

Judges 6:11

Gideon’s first sign is that an angel has a conversation with him under the Oak tree in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite (Gideon’s father).

Judges 6:17

Gideon asks for a sign that will prove that God is really with him.

Judges 6:20-22 Gideon gets his second sign with the exploding fiery blob of soggy dripping meaty bread and the disappearing angel.

Judges 6:36-37

Gideon asks for a third sign – wet fleece dry dirt.

Judges 6:39-40

Gideon asks for a fourth sign – dry fleece wet dirt.

A man’s faith nourishes his valor. There is a difference between being a coward and being afraid.

Read Judges Chapter 7

The Midianites had 135,000 trained warriors.

God says to Gideon who only had 32,000 “You have too many soldiers.”

God essentially says, “This is never going to work. I can not partner with people who are arrogant cowards who will steal my glory after a victory.” Remember that anyone in life who takes the credit for something that belongs to another is a coward who God will not bless!

Gideon is told to remove the arrogant cowards. Judges 7:2-3

32,000 subtract 22,000 left 10,000 soldiers to fight with Gideon.

God says, “There are still too many!” and God finds another kind of person He will not partner with. This group were not cowards, but they were careless.

Judges 7:5-7

22,000 cowards had to be removed so God could partner with them in battle.

9,700 careless people had to be removed so God could partner with them in battle, leaving Gideon only 300 men to fight with.

No problem, right? There is no reason to need signs to prop-up Gideon’s faith, right? Here’s the math: With 300 men left to fight that means that each soldier has to kill 450 Midianites, personally. If even one soldier of Gideon’s dies, then someone has to kill 900 Midianites to make up the loss.

There was a spark of VALOR in Gideon.

It is not wrong to be afraid. It is wrong to be a coward! There is a difference between being a rational human being who experiences fear and being a coward, who God won’t partner with!

ILLUSTRATION: Little boy finishing swimming lessons. Milestone is to jump off the diving board for the first time.

Judges 7:9-11

ILLUSTRATION: Bookend my asking God for a sign on the morning He told me to preach on Gideon, one day after the most beautiful wedding I had ever officiated – one morning after the last of the Presidential candidates refused to honor marriage, while under pressure to attend a Gay wedding.

When Almighty God decided to personally get involved in the creation of a proper civil government, He did not begin that process by looking for a president, king or a queen; a high priest, a slick statesman, or a wizard of wonders. Nor did God search for an all-wise warlord.

No, God FIRST looked for parents.

Parents capable of rearing a family in the midst of divine judgment that was about to be unleashed against the wicked nations who cultivated sexual depravity from one end of the spectrum all the way to homosexuality.

God looked, specifically, for a father who, (in the context of a culture of promiscuous sexual perversion), would “command his children after him” so that their sexual instinct would be willingly conformed to the divine law of their Creator God.

God looked for a family unit run so well by a father and a mother, that the posterity it produced would eventually give birth to a child called “Moses” who could be “drawn-out” from the worldly river of destruction and taught to articulate how all the nations of the world should govern themselves in perfect, honorable and just precision.

God knew it would take a strong family to make a nation, and it would take a proper nation to produce a virgin girl named Mary, who could become the mother of the Savior of the whole world.

It’s no wonder that Moses observed this fact and set-up the first command on the second table of the law as the basis for all civil government “Honor thy father and they mother.”

There are two great principles in every home.

When God Himself decided to start a new nation He looked for a proper father and mother.

“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him.”

There are two great principles which must prevail in every home. First, AUTHORITY, which is inferred by the use of the word “command” in the verse. Second, EXAMPLE, which is inferred by the expression “his household after him.”

In order that one might correctly command he must himself be controlled or be able to obey an authority higher than his own. It is impossible for one to be the father or mother that they ought to be and not be a Christian who yields all things to the authority of Jesus Christ as His church.

ILLUSTRATION: I came upon a quote from the America’s God and Country Encyclopedia. I felt it would be poignant to share this with you this morning. Listen carefully:

 

“We, each one of us, right now, whether we know it or not, stand at the apex of an unfolding generational drama. We are heir to the past, and ancestor to the future. Counting our grandparents or early mentors through our grandchildren, we will most likely mentor, or be mentored by, people whose life cycles will extend well over 200 years and include parts of four centuries!

Charles Frances Adams, Ambassador to England during the Civil War, found himself in the center of an extraordinary family tree. He wrote a ten-volume biography of his grandfather (our 2nd President) and compiled a twelve-volume diary of the notes of his father (our 6th President), and then saw one of his sons (a celebrated author) write a biography of him.

Just think! Charles’ grandfather, John, was born in 1735, and his grandson, Charles Frances III, died in 1954. Both of their lives overlapped Ambassador Adams for roughly two decades. Charles was nurtured by an ancestor and gave nurture to an heir whose combined life spans stretched 220 years.” William J. Federer, America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations (Coppell, TX: Fame, 1994) 676.

To further illustrate how powerful and valuable your legacy can be for the preservation of our future as a church family, consider the life-story of Jonathan Edwards:

“Sarah Pierrepont and Jonathan Edwards were married in 1727. He was the only son out of 11 children, and his father was a minister. The couple went on to have 11 children of their own, which continued a generational blessing that has populated America with godly seed for centuries.

 

 Jonathan believed in rising early before sunrise for prayer by candlelight. He would then read a chapter of the Bible to his children before the day began. Even though he was perhaps the greatest intellect ever produced in Colonial America, he always took time out from his writing, pastoring, and mission work to give one hour each day of undivided attention to his children while sitting in his special father’s chair. (Today, the average father gives about 3 minutes per week to his children.) He frequently took time to rescue his wife from the kitchen and ride with her into the hills of Connecticut for the afternoon.

Imagine the difficulty of raising 11 children in the wilderness, with hostile Indians, on a pastor’s meager salary. Yet Sarah maintained her radiance and beauty to the end. She died one year after he did, many believe of a broken heart. Jonathan died unexpectedly when given a fatal smallpox vaccine in 1758, just after accepting the Presidency of Princeton University (College of New Jersey). One hundred and seventy-three years after their marriage, a study was made of some 1400 of the descendants. By 1900 this single marriage had produced 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 100 lawyers, a dean of an outstanding law school, 30 judges, 56 physicians, a dean of a medical school, 80 holders of public office, 3 United States senators, 3 mayors of large American cities, 3 governors, 1 vice President of the United States, and 1 comptroller of the United States Treasury.

Members of the family had written 135 books and edited 18 journals and periodicals. They had entered the ministry in platoons, with nearly 100 of them becoming missionaries overseas.” William J. Federer, America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations (Coppell, TX: Fame, 1994) 676.

To further illustrate how powerful and valuable your legacy can be for the preservation of our future as a church family, consider the life-story of Jonathan Edwards.

“Sarah Pierrepont and Jonathan Edwards were married in 1727. He was the only son out of 11 children, and his father was a minister. The couple went on to have 11 children of their own, which continued a generational blessing that has populated America with godly seed for centuries.

 Jonathan believed in rising early before sunrise for prayer by candlelight. He would then read a chapter of the Bible to his children before the day began. Even though he was perhaps the greatest intellect ever produced in Colonial America, he always took time out from his writing, pastoring, and mission work to give one hour each day of undivided attention to his children while sitting in his special father’s chair. (Today, the average father gives about 3 minutes per week to his children.) He frequently took time to rescue his wife from the kitchen and ride with her into the hills of Connecticut for the afternoon.

Imagine the difficulty of raising 11 children in the wilderness, with hostile Indians, on a pastor’s meager salary. Yet Sarah maintained her radiance and beauty to the end. She died one year after he did, many believe of a broken heart. Jonathan died unexpectedly when given a fatal smallpox vaccine in 1758, just after accepting the Presidency of Princeton University (College of New Jersey). One hundred and seventy-three years after their marriage, a study was made of some 1400 of the descendants. By 1900 this single marriage had produced 13 college presidents, 65 professors, 100 lawyers, a dean of an outstanding law school, 30 judges, 56 physicians, a dean of a medical school, 80 holders of public office, 3 United States senators, 3 mayors of large American cities, 3 governors, 1 vice President of the United States, and 1 comptroller of the United States Treasury.

Members of the family had written 135 books and edited 18 journals and periodicals. They had entered the ministry in platoons, with nearly 100 of them becoming missionaries overseas.”

Spread the Gospel!
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