Judges Chapters 7 & 8


Last time Ch. 6 – Calling & commission of Gideon – Noted that before God could deal with the enemy they needed to deal with the sin

A)Mighty man of Valor – Saw finished Product – sin was in Gideon’s back yard – His Fathers idol to Baal –


B) After Gideon dealt with the sin – God confirmed to Gideon that it was time to deal with the enemy – deal with the oppressor


Judges 7:1

Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) { Baal fighter or Baal Conqueror}and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. Judge  2 And the LORD said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.'


C) Now Gideon’s army numbered 32,000 men – The Midianites had a an army that is described in Ch. 6 v. 5 being like locust – Swarm / W/ out # v.6

1)   Ch. 7:12 – Camels like the SAND 


D) So looking at the army of Midian – Locust – swarm – Like the Desert sand just keeps going & going –

1)   Ch.8v 10 – tells us there were at least 135,000 Midianite soldiers


So if Midian had 135,000 & Israel had 32,000 – the odds would be 4 to 1

A)Each Israelite soldier would need to kill 4 Midianites in order for Israel to win the Battle –


B) Well God didn’t like those odds – He knows our hearts – He knew if Israel was that strong – they would be prone to claim glory for the victory

1)   That would start a cycle of self confidence that would lead them down a road to disaster { So He says to Gideon – too many men – Problem}

C) Now this is interesting to me because it is so contrary to how we do things in the world

1) Sales Manager – gearing up his sales team for the coming campaign

Moving speech to motivate them in their abilities – work hard go for it


D) Football coach – Under dog team – Pep talk – Self confidence – You can do this –

1)   The Vince Lombardis of this world seek to prepare us by building up our self confidence & stiffening our Back bone


But God does something entirely different . He doesn’t seek to build our Self confidence but our dependence upon Him

A)It is a process that is repeated time & time again in the Word – When God wants a man or woman to do great things for Him


B)He builds into that man or woman not self confidence but God Confidence

1)   Sometimes the way that He does that is by first weakening them or breaking them !!!!


C) Now some people would read this & think – God is a Glory hound – He doesn’t want the people getting credit for the Victory !!

1)   Listen that is not it at all – But in reality – God knows what is best for man  - He made us – Made to bring Him glory


D) We are at our highest when – bringing Glory to Him with our lives !!!


But God also knows how prone we are to want to elevate ourselves / what damage pride can do to get our eyes off of Him & on to us

A)Too often, we’re like King Uzziah who was “marvelously helped, till he was strong. 2 Chron 26


B)But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction”

    You can never be too small for God to usebut you can be too Big

1) If you want the credit for what God is doing, God will not use you.

C) This is why you can look around and see the Lord working in a powerful way in the lives of some very weak people.

1)   They are people who are careful to give God the Glory


D)People who live by faith know their own weakness more and more as they depend on God’s strength. \


So the Lord says to Gideon there are too many - V3 Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying,'Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.'" And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.

A)So 22,000 left and that makes the odds now 14 to 1 – God was smart–


B) POOR GIDEON- Just a couple of days ago he was hiding in the winepress      having questions about WHERE is  God

1) and WHERE are the miracles   


C) NOW he is watching his army shrink – I’m sure he was thinking  maybe 5 or 10  guys would be afraid – not 22,000 –


D) The Lord was smart here though because fear is a contagious thing & the majority of the guys were fearful

1)So He got rid of what could be a negative element  RD Verses 4-8


Here is the Picture – some knees faces in the water / some kneel  lapped with the hand

A)Some were aware and mindful of the enemy – the others were oblivious -  God choose the ones who were aware !!!


B)Well the odds go from 4 to 1 / to 14 to 1 / to 450 to 1

1)   Only 300 guys were going to follow Gideon !!!!


C) Theme of this Story: Faith – but also obedience – Would Gideon & these men be obedient to what God was calling them to do

1)obedience is often irrational: Doesn’t make sense to us !!!

 Gideon and his 300 men remind us that God is not looking for GREAT Christians / But He is looking for Obedient & believing ones

A)People who will allow Him to showcase His glory thru their lives


B) People who will be fervent for Him & who wholeheartedly want their lives to count for Him.     


C) IF you feel like the odds are stacked against YOU... That YOUR              situation looks IMPOSSIBLE

1) REJOICE - God LOVES to work in those odds


2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him.

                                                              Pick up v.9 –14

Now I love this about the Lord – He knows that Gideon is feeling a bit uneasy about these odds – so He is going to bring confirmation

A)He goes into the camp of the Midianites & finds out they are afraid of him


B)This man who only a few days earlier was a NOBODY in Israel      and was hiding for fear at the wine press

1) was now the subject of conversation in the Midianite camp  - WHY?


C) Most likely they heard of how he tore down the altar of Ba-al and lived to talk about it – He went toe to toe with one of their gods & WON

1)   They probably heard how he became known as Jerubbaal ..... the challenger of Ba-al


NOTICE:   They likened Gideon to a cake of barley bread

It did NOT say: A huge boulder came crashing down

A)It was a barley loaf - In that culture, barley  was the food of slaves and animals-


B)It was the LOWEST type of grain used by the common man- Even the poor people ate wheat-     It was like getting a loaf of 10 day old bread

C)But NOTE: Gideon did NOT take offense - "A barley Loaf....  So          THAT'S what you think of me Lord? "


QUOTE: Philip Keller "A man's usefulness is in direct proportion

to his willingness to be of little consequence in the estimation of others"


So God gives to Gideon once again the confirmation that He needed God is good to do that –

A)Seek out Confirmation – Word – people trust  { My wife – leaders -}


B) Reasons God gives confirmation:  1st God gives confirmation in order to strengthen our faith so that we are willing to step out & do what He has asked us to do!!!!


C)2nd He brings confirmation so that we know - it was Him who spoke to us 


D) 3rd He brings confirmation so that we can encourage others by sharing that confirmation  - which is what happens here v.15- 23


So The Midianites awoke to an explosion of noise, light, and movement coming down on them from all directions;

A)No wonder they thought they were being attacked by an army even bigger than they were


B)But Why did they cry out the sword of the Lord and of Gideon? Wasn't this pride on Gideon's part?          No, it was wisdom in attack

1) because clearly the Midianites were already afraid of the sword of Gideon (Judges 7:14), and shouting this would help in sending them into panic


C) The Midianites may not have known who the Lord was, but they knew there was a man from the Lord named Gideon.

1)So It was appropriate for Gideon to take this leadership role


D) Without pride, leaders must lead, and leading means putting yourself where the people can see you and respond to your leadership

Now there is both an individual lesson we can learn from this story as well as – a lesson for us as a Church – 1st Church lesson

A)The Story of Gideon reminds us that God doesn’t need large numbers to accomplish His purposes, nor does He need especially gifted leaders.


B) Gideon and his 300 men were available for God to use, and He enabled them to conquer the enemy and bring peace to the land.

1)When the church starts to depend on “bigness”/big buildings, big crowds, big budgets—then faith becomes misplaced, & God can’t give His blessing.


C) When leaders depend on their education, skill, and experience rather than in God, then God abandons them and looks for a Gideon.

1)   The important thing is for us to be available for God to use just as He sees fit.


D)We may not fully understand His plans, but we can fully trust His promises; and it’s faith in Him that gives the victory.


Also an Individual lesson: Paul 2 Cor 4 Earthen vessels – light shines in

2 Cor 4:6-7

6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.


A)We are clay pots that the light of Jesus shines thru – but notice in the story of Gideon – the lights in the pots didn’t shine until Broken


B) Application for us – Sometimes it is in our times of Brokeness that the Lord shines the Brightest –

                                                                                         Pick up V. 24-25


C)God did the great work through this small number of men; but once the great work had begun, He wanted as many as who could to get involved in the work !!!    Use a small group to inspire a larger one -     Ch. 8:1

Instead of REJOICING in the victory, they were complaining about the strategy... Grumbling that they had no prominent part in it

A)Not praising God but instead COMPLAINING about they way          Gideon did it


B)That is just like some Christians- We find things to complain about in the face of glorious victories that God has given


C) NOTE Gideon's response  v.2-3


Now As a victorious general, a national hero, Gideon could have used his authority and popularity to put the tribe of Ephraim in its place.

 A)But he chose to use a better approach. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1, nkjv).


B)Perhaps Gideon’s immediate feelings weren’t that cordial, but he controlled himself and treated his brothers with kindness. “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (16:32, nkjv).


C)Gideon proved that he could control not only an army, but also control his temper and tongue.


2 Lessons:

#1 The unity of God’s people is more important than personal pride.


#2 And We must not take our eyes off of the enemy. –

A)Quite frankly Gideon didn’t have time to fight with Ehpraim – He was dealing with the real enemy


B) Recognize who the enemy is – not going to be fighting with your Brothers !!!

1)   It’s sad when brothers declare war on each other after they’ve stood together to defeat the enemy. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1)

C) So Gideon took the road of Humility and Chose to compliment the men of Ephraim.

1)   He told them that their capturing Oreb and Zeeb was a greater feat than anything the men had done from his hometown of Abiezer.


D)Peace was restored and Gideon returned to the more important tasks at hand – Chasing the enemy !!!!!!


Quote: Ronald Reagan: There is no limit to what can be accomplished if you aren't concerned as to who gets the credit


E) There is no limit to what can be accomplished in the body of Christ- if we don't care who gets the credit.... Just as long as JESUS gets the glory


V. 4-9

Here the men of Succoth & Penuel are trying to remain uninvolved

If the victory isn't locked up they don't want to get involved

A)Unless they are SURE of not getting on their wrong side they  won't         get involved


B)Instead of help, they have an excuse - they don't want to side with Israel until they have already won the battle.

1) When the heart is unwilling, it is never hard to find an excuse { Important to always pray – let God deal with your heart – { here not time / no excuse


C) They had a national & spiritual responsibility to help each other!!!!


D)Well Gideon vows to take revenge on these cities that refused to help his army at this strategic time






Well God gave Gideon and his men victory over the fleeing Midianite hosts and enabled him to capture the two enemy kings.

A)Triumphantly he retraced his steps and kept his promise to the men of Succoth and Peniel.


B) He beat the leaders in Succoth with thorny branches & He then went to Peniel and wrecked their tower, killing the men who had opposed him.


C)Why didn’t Gideon show to the people of Succoth and Peniel the same kindness that he showed to the Ephraimites and simply forgive them their offenses?


D)For one thing, their offenses were not alike. The questioning  of Ephraim was nothing compared to the rebellion of Succoth and Peniel.

1)   Ephraim was protecting their tribal pride, a sin but not a costly one;


E)but Succoth and Peniel were rebelling against God’s chosen leader and assisting the enemy at the same time.

1)   Theirs was the sin of hardness of heart toward their brethren and treason against the God of heaven.



Leaders must have discernment or they will make wrong decisions as they deal with different situations.


Personal insults are one thing, but rebellion against the Lord and His people is quite something else.



Pick up next week –rest of Ch. 8 Gideon's failure & Ch.9 His sons rule