Talks for Growing Christians
Gideon's Faith is Tested
Lesson Number 11
- God tests the strength of a believer's faith.
- God tolerates the weakness of a believer's faith.
- Your actions speak louder than your words.
- Why did the Lord drastically reduce the size of Gideon's army?
- Were the Midianites and Amalekites really as numerous as locusts, and their camels without number, as the sand by the seashore? (7:12)
- How many men did Gideon start out with in his army? How many did he end with?
- How was the number of men in the army reduced?
- What was the interpretation of the Midianite's dream? (7:13-14)
- What was Gideon's reaction when he overheard the telling of the dream?
- So that Israel could not claim glory for itself instead of for the Lord, saying, "My own hand has saved me." (7:2)
- No. This is a figure of speech known as hyperbole, purposeful exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis.
- He started with 32,000, and ended with 300.
- First, anyone who was afraid could leave, at which point 22,000 departed, leaving 10,000. Gideon was instructed by the Lord to take the 10,000 to the water. Everyone who lapped by putting his hand to his mouth was set apart, and everyone who got down on his knees to drink was set apart. Three hundred men lapped. These were the ones selected to remain in the Lord's army.
- Gideon was represented by a loaf of barley bread (barley bread was the bread of the poor) tumbling into camp, striking the tent of Midian. Midian was delivered into the hand of Gideon.
- He worshiped, and returned to the camp of Israel with confidence that the Lord would bring victory. It also showed the humble faith of Gideon.
- Gideon had the strength of his faith tested, particularly when the odds against him increased. Have you had your faith tested in overwhelming odds? How did your faith hold up?
- Gideon did not have a strong faith, but he had a genuine faith. God honored this faith by encouraging Gideon and by strengthening him. How strong is your faith? Have you recognized ways in which the Lord has encouraged you to go on?
- The water test was passed by what the soldiers did rather than what they said. God wanted men who were ready to move out and fight the good faith based on their actions. Are you committed to the Lord to the point of action? Are you a member of the 300 Club?
- "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." Judges 7:2
- "I will not give My glory to another." Isaiah 48:11
- "By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you." Judges 7:7
- "Gideon worshipped." Judges 7:15