This sermon was based on Judges 6 & 7.
The Call of Gideon
11Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lordbring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” 15And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” 17And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me.
19So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. 20And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. 21Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. 22Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” 23But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” 24Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace.
God Does Sometimes Give us Signs
Now it’s natural for us to read this story and think I wouldn’t mind some of that. I would love some clear signs from God when I have to make big decisions in life.
God does sometimes give us signs and when that happens its great but when we make our Christian life all about getting signs from God for things we can end just making God into a Sat Nav. It may not surprise you but God doesn’t just want to be our Sat Nav in Life. He’s much more interested in being in a relationship with us. The best way to know God’s will for our lives is actually through having a close relationship with him. When we have a close relationship with him we learn to recognise his voice, Jesus says: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. When we have a close relationship with God, we learn what his will is, we learn his ways, we become more like him.
When we have a close relationship with him we might not always get an answer but our relationship with him means that’s ok because we have a bigger perspective. The anxiety of making the right decision is replaced with peace and trust that God has it. Sign or no sign, he has it. He’s in control..
God Also Asks for Signs
This isn’t a formula, and it doesn’t always play out as neatly as this but it does shows us that as we seek God to show us signs that he is with us we must know that he too is seeking signs that we are with him. The signs he asks for is Obedience.
Before Gideon put out the fleeces he’d already shown God he was obedient, he obeyed God and cut down his dads idols. Even though it nearly got him killed. God loves obedience.
The best way to show God that you love him and are with him is through obeying him. Forgiving those who hurt you, not gossiping or lying. Sharing your faith, being generous, Staying sexually pure. These are just some of the ways we can show God that we are with him.
Obedience in Decisions
We often think the big decisions in life are the ones where we don’t know what to do. Where should I live? what job should I do? I think we need to flip that around. I think the important decisions are not the ones where we don’t know what to do. The important decisions are the ones where we know exactly what we should do. Should I get drunk this weekend? Should I Lie to my boss? Should I withhold information on my tax form. Should I start a romantic relationship with someone who’s not a Christian? God has spoken on these things.
The story of Gideon shows us that God does sometimes give us signs but it shows us that God also asks for signs too. Signs of obedience. Obedience in the everyday things.