Teenagers are bombarded with self doubt. They question their abilities and even their purpose. As youth workers, you know that God has certainly put them on the planet for a reason but thy don’t listen so good sometimes and that is where the trouble started for Israel.
This is week one of my five week series on Gideon: The Reluctant Warrior. This lesson sets up the story of why Gideon was called upon to save Israel from its idol worship and return to the Lord.
Enjoy! And thanks for visiting.
WEEK ONE: How Did I Get Here?
There have been more than a few people in the Bible who did not want to do what God asked them to do; some because they did not believe God could do it through them and some were afraid.
Moses – Couldn’t see himself as the rescuer of Israel
Jonah – Jonah didn’t want to go to Ninvevah out of fear and hatred of the people.
Elijah – Ran and hid in a cave because he thought he was the last prophet serving God.
Sara – Laughed at God that she would have a baby in her old age.
Each of these men and women were called by God and given a mission. Each of them ran and or made excuses why they couldn’t do it.
Read: Judges 6:1-6
Before you become a warrior, God has to get your attention that there’s an actual war going on. We might also call this, hitting rock bottom and that is exactly where Israel, and Gideon is at this point. God does not rescue Israel, instead he lets them deal with the consequences of their choices.
God will give us over to our rebellious desires vs 1
Israel is in trouble because of idolatry. This was not their first time trying away from the true God to idols. Israel worshipped the golden calf on Mt. Sinai. They had been freed from slavery from Egypt and as soon as they had opportunity, they bowed to another idol.
We are much the same. God rescues us, forgives us and gives us a new start, and we wander off looking for something more exciting to worship. Church is boring there for God is boring, let’s look for something else. We must remember God’s first commandment to Israel, “Have no other gods before me”.
Rather than fight the battle, they hid vs 2
Israel is getting bullied. The Midianites are stealing their lunch money every day. Every time the Israelites try to plant a crop or raise farm animals the Midiantes swoop in and destroy everything.
Instead of fighting back, the Israelites hide in caves. It’s amazing what they are willing to endure to keep worshipping their false gods. For seven years they put up with this, until they couldn’t take it any more. If you’re tired of life bullying you, get back to putting God first in your life and watch God fight for you.
It got so bad, they cried out to the Lord vs 6
God is a good father. He’s letting Israel make their choice. He does not come in and rescue them, He waits, He waits until His children cry out to Him and then His plan comes into motion.
The book of Proverbs 3:11,12, says
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
How bad does it have to get for you before you cry out to the Lord? How long must you suffer?
Read: Judges 6:7-10
After much misery, God sends a prophet to remind Israel of what God has done for them and the reason they are experiencing so much misery. It is because they did not listen.
Maybe you find yourself in spot where you feel like the world is bullying you because of a mistake or choice you made. God is not absent from your life. Not listening to God, only leads choices that hurt us. God allows us to own our choices, it’s called free will, but the whole point of owning our choices is to realize that God’s ways are better than our ways.
A declaration is a confession. A confession can be about our trouble or sin but it can can also be in the affirmative of that we believe about God or ourselves.
God, I put no other god before you.
For if I do, I will fall into trouble.
I will not give into the temptation
to put You second. Nothing comes
I will fight and not hide from
the spiritual battles I have.
Idols have no place in my life,
They only get in the way of serving
But should I fall into trouble, I accept
Responsibility for my choices.
If I have put something or someone else
Before you, let me be quick to listen
To your voice and obey.
Draw me back to you.