Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gideon Part 2

OK let's recap what we learned about Gideon from the last blog and then we will finish the story.  Last time, we learned that Gideon was the wimpiest guy.  The bible says he was from the smallest house of the smallest tribe of Israel.  If you think of US Navy Seals, he was the exact opposite, or at least he thought he was.  But God saw something different in him.  See Israel was being raided and beaten up a lot and God was going to use this sniveling, weak, wimpy guy to deliver the whole nation of Israel.  Gideon wasn't sure about this whole thing so he decided to test God.

Now let's pick up the story there.  Before he tested God with the fleece, something really cool happened.  He trusted God.  Now trust is a hard thing for most of us but he trusted God completely.  He decided that he would do whatever God told him to do.  So before God could use him to deliver Israel, He had to build Gideon's confidence.

Well they started with something right inside Gideon's own family that was really hacking God off.  It was a common practice to set up alters in those days.  Now unfortunately, Gideon's town worshipped the devil because they had an alter set up to Baal (or the Devil).  This kind of stuff makes God mad.  Just think about it for a minute, if your friend really needed lunch money and you constantly gave it to him and this same friend went around telling everyone that someone else was giving it to him, it would make you mad right?  God is the same way.  So God tells Gideon to go brake that alter to pieces.  There was also a grove of trees near the Devils alter that God tells Gideon to chop down and use to sacrifice offerings to God.

Now even though Gideon was gong to do what God told him to do, he was still a little scared of his family.   He knew they were going to be really mad when they found out so he did it at night.  Now when the folks that lived in the town got up the next morning and found their alter to the Devil cut down they were plenty mad and they found out Gideon had done it.  They went up to Gideon's dad and told him to hand over Gideon so they could kill him for breaking their alter.  I love what his dad said.  He said, "Well, if you think your god is such a big shot, let your god kill Gideon himself.  If he's such a big deal, he doesn't need you to kill Gideon."  This caused the folks from the town to leave Gideon alone and guess what, the devil couldn't kill Gideon.

So then all the bad guys gathered together and pitched their tents in this place called the valley of Jezreel.  When that happened, God's spirit came on Gideon and he was ready to take on a couple of whole countries not just a family.  This is where the whole fleece thing comes in.  This is where Gideon tests God like we talked about in the last blog.

Well, Gideon got a group of people together and they camped out too.  So the Lord said, Gideon has too many people with him.  I want to show everyone what I can do so I need to shrink the number of people in Gideon's army.  So God told Gideon to have all his men drink water from a stream or pond or something like that.  Some people got down on their knees and just used their tongue like a dog to lap up the water.  Some people scooped up the water in their hands and drank it.  Well it turns out that after using that test, God kept about 300 dudes to go after these other armies.

So God tells Gideon one night to sneak up to the camp of the bad guys to listen to what they are saying.  Gideon takes his servant Phurah to go check things out.  Now God has just told him not to fear and that God has given this army into Gideon's hands for him to destroy.  This army that these 300 people were about to attack was so high that the bible says that the whole valley looked like it was covered with grasshoppers and that they had so many camels that they couldn't count them all.  That doesn't look like good odds right?  I mean 300 dudes against this whole big army.  Have you ever seen the movie, 300.  It's a little like that but the results will be a lot different than the 300 men in that movie.

So after Gideon knew what God wanted him to do and he had reconned the other army, he split his group into three groups of 100 men.  They had trumpets and lamps inside these pitchers.  So these guys snuck up on the bad guys in the middle of the night.  Then Gideon blew his trumpet and everyone else did too.  The broke the pitchers and said, "The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon."  When the other army heard this, it scared them so bad that they took off running.  Gideon's army started killing the bad guys as they whole army ran off.  After that, some other families from Israel helped him wipe the bad guys out.

That's another of the Minion's Bible Stories.

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