In this sermon, we look back over 3 millennia to the story of Gideon and his identity trap—seeking security through power.
1) Gideon’s Test
Gideon was a tribal warrior leader-judge. His story takes place between 1179-1154 BC and is recorded in the Book of Judges chapter 6. The context of the story is clear in the opening: the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They were disloyal and broke the covenant, and so God disciplined them through the oppression of the Midianites. Before the might and strength of the Midianites, the Israelites found themselves powerless and diminished. Yet even in disciplining them, God, in His great love, calls the people of Israel back and restores them through a rescue He is orchestrating.
Enter Gideon, whose name means “hacker.” We find him threshing wheat in a winepress, hiding from the Midianites. An angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and informs him that the Lord chose him to rescue Israel. But Gideon is scared and feels powerless. He is looking for a security blanked; it’s not enough for Gideon to take God at His word, he wants a sign of tangible confirmation.
You see, Gideon’s insecurity comes from control impulses, always asking God to prove Himself over and over. That sense of control makes Gideon feel safe.
Gideon is looking for security through power. Deep down, Gideon is afraid and insecure. And he wishes more than anything that he could be strong and mighty and valiant, because then things would be different. Then he’d have power and he’d be secure.
And all these “tests” are efforts to gain a semblance of control when everything in life seems so very insecure.
Gideon struggles to trust the promises of God. He’s functionally living like an orphan.
2) Gideon’s Trust
God is patient with Gideon and provides Gideon with the security blankets he needs by participating in a series of tests. So, with his fleece in hand, and 32,000 soldiers at his side, Gideon was starting to see some glimmers of hope. Maybe they could pull this off after all! But God had a different idea in mind: His whole aim was to whittle down Gideon’s army so that He alone would get the glory.
God draws our Gideons insecurity through powerlessness.
3) Gideon’s Triumph
God fought the battle with Midian by using dreams to fill the Midianites hearts with doom and destroy their morale. When Gideon learns that God is fighting the battle for him, he finally believes and trusts God with his fears. He knows his security lies in the power of the Lord who fights for His children.
Gideon discovered real security in the power of God. He learned that “the battle belongs to the Lord.”
Takeaway: True security is found in our Father’s care.
In Jesus, we have a Heavenly Father who is watching over our lives with loving-care and protection. If you are in Jesus Christ today, sin will not hold you, Satan cannot keep you, and death will not defeat you. You are secure forever in the undying love of God! You are safe always in Christ for all time and eternity! You are kept by the Spirit, sealed for incomparable glory!
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