Formations Lesson for Sept. 11: Gideon Tests God
DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church
August 29, 2011

Formations Lesson for Sept. 11: Gideon Tests God

Formations Lesson for Sept. 11: Gideon Tests God
DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church
August 29, 2011

Focal Passage: Judges 6:25-40

When we invite the Lord Jesus into our lives, we begin a
journey of faith. In our spiritual journey, sometimes the paths we are to
travel are not clear to us. At times, we sense that we are lost. Uncertainty
sets in, and we grow fearful and insecure.

In this series of lessons, we are traveling with Gideon on
his journey of faith. Last week, we learned that God approached this timid,
fearful farmer as he was beating out his wheat in a winepress, and called him
to be a “mighty warrior” (6:12). In spite of all his fears, Gideon was willing
to step out and obey the Lord.

Today, we continue to walk with Gideon as he takes steps
toward fulfilling God’s call to him. His first step of faith was to take a
stand in his own village before he faced the enemy on the battlefield (v.

The assignment wasn’t an easy one. God told him to destroy
the altar dedicated to Baal, build an altar to the Lord, and sacrifice one of
his father’s valuable bulls, using the wood of the Asherah pole for fuel.

Gideon obeyed, but he fearfully carried out his instructions
at night. He did so with 10 servants to help bolster his flagging faith. He
lacked confidence. He was weak and timid; but he obeyed.

After a good first step at home, Gideon was ready to take
the next step in his faith journey (v. 33-35). The Midianites and Amalekites
were preparing to attack the Israelites.

We read that “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon” (v.
34). Literally, the Spirit “clothed Gideon.” The word translated “clothed”
referred to a man putting on his clothes (Gen. 28:20) or a warrior putting on a
suit of armor (Is. 59:17). The Abiezites, together with their allies (Manasseh,
Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali), positioned themselves to follow Gideon.
At this point Gideon became nervous and hesitated (v.
36-40). Gideon asked God to make a fleece of wool wet with dew one morning,
then totally dry the next morning.

Gideon received the sign that he asked for from God, and then went out
to war, defeating the forces of Midian.

Gideon tested God, but Deuteronomy 6:16 clearly states: “Do
not test the Lord your God as you did at Massah.” Although we are not to seek
signs, God knows that, like Gideon, we are fearful and timid at times.
May He grant us the grace to know Him more clearly, love Him
more dearly, and follow Him more nearly. Amen.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Coming soon readers will
see the Oct. 2 lesson for Explore the Bible lesson, a curriculum published by
LifeWay. The Sept. 25 Formations lesson will be the last lesson from
Formations, a curriculum printed by Smyth & Helwys Publishing. LifeWay’s
Bible Studies for Life will continue to be printed.)