Talks for Growing Christians
Gideon Pursues the Defeated Midianites
Lesson Number 13
- Christian leaders must press on even though there are many disappointments.
- Christian leaders must discipline others, even though it is not very pleasant.
- Remember, a soft answer turns away wrath.
- Gideon and his army were outnumbered more than 450:1, and without conventional weapons. Yet they overwhelmingly defeated the Midianites. How was this possible?
- List some of the disappointments that Gideon had along the way while he was doing the Lord's work in pursuing the Midianites.
- What did Gideon ask of the people of Succoth and Penuel?
- What did Gideon do about some of these disappointments when the battle was won?
- Because the Lord was with Gideon, and Gideon followed the Lord's commands. With God all things are possible - then and today.
- He faced internal bickering when time was of the essence in pursuit of the enemy, he was disappointed because of lack of support, his efforts were mocked by the very people he was trying to save, and he was exhausted.
- He asked for bread, but they refused to give it to him.
- He took action against those who were disloyal and had thwarted the battle.
- Although Gideon had several disappointments along the way while he was doing the Lord's work, he pressed on. All of us have experienced some disappointments when we've been working for the Lord. Recall a time in your life when this was the case. It's easy to give up and say that it's not worth the effort. But how does this affect the work of the Lord? The right response is to press on.
- Leadership has its demands, and one of them includes disciplining those who are disobedient and disloyal to the work of the Lord. Gideon saw this as his responsibility and handled it. Have you have been in such a situation? Sometimes it is easier to ignore the problem, but that doesn't solve anything. This is particularly true well in the home. There are parents, even Christian parents, who neglect disciplining their children, but they are neglecting a biblical principle.
- "A soft answer turns away wrath." (Proverbs 15:1) There are times when harsh discipline is necessary, but there are times when it is more diplomatic and more effective to give a soft answer. When this is done emotional tensions are often avoided. Have you found this to be true?
- "What was I able to do in comparison with you?' Then their anger toward him subsided when he said that." Judges 8:3
- "A soft answer turns away wrath." Proverbs 15:1
- "Gideon and the men who were with him were exhausted, but still in pursuit." Judges 8:4
- "Gideon took the elders of the city...and he taught the men..." Judges 8:16