14 June 2017

When less is more

Theme: Trusting God’s Power

Scripture: Judges 7:1-23

Objectives: (from the D6 Fusion Sunday school lesson)
Know: God used Gideon and 300 men to miraculously defeat a vast Midianite led army.
Think: Be so mindful of God’s power that I confidently move forward when He leads.
Do: Step out in faith, trusting God to accomplish His will through you.

Notes and Questions:
B1 Some images
C2 Spring of Harod
B2 Some basics
C1 Gideon
D1 Youngest son of Joash
D2 Was of the tribe of Manasseh
D3 He had two nicknames--Jerubbaal and Jerubbesheth
D4 Joash, his father, worshipped Baal. He had an idol and altar to him.
D5 The Midianites were robbers and gradually took possession of the land. They kept most of the product of farming and animals for themselves. Many of Manasseh and Ephraim had to live in caves and dens.
D6 God commissions him to deliver Israel.
D7 He was rather timid and needed proofs of God’s call (the fleece).
D8 Went and did as God commanded.
E1 First, he destroyed the altar and the Baal. He, then, built an altar to Yahweh and offered one of his father’s bulls on that altar.
E2 Second, he called for Israelites to be in his army.
E3 Third, he reduced this army at God’s command. The army started out at 32,000 and was reduced to 10,000 after 22,000 left, because they were afraid. God still wanted more reductions and gave Gideon a sign to accept as soldiers only those who drank water as a dog did. The rest were sent home. This left 300.
C2 Outline
D1 Gathering the soldiers and the reduction of it Judges 7:1-8
D2 The Midianite’s dream and interpretation Judges 7:9-18
D3 Israel’s victory over the Midianites Judges 7:19-25
B3 Judges 7:1-8
C1 Why did God want to reduce the number of soldiers?
C2 Why did God NOT want Israel to glory in its power?
C3 What does God do to show that He is our victor every day of our life?
C4 What is the lapping that God gives as a test?
D1 Two views
E1 Those who are approved go down on their knees and drink water like a dog.
E2 Those who are approved bring the water to their mouths and lap that water.
D2 Judges 7:6 states, “And the number of those who lapped, [putting] their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. (Judges 7:6, NKJV). Thus it is those bringing the water to their mouth.
C5 What might be the difference between the two types of soldiers?
B4 Judges 7:9-18,
C1 Why would Gideon be afraid? Are we sometimes afraid to do God’s will as revealed in the Scriptures? What can strengthen us?
C2 How was it possible for the Midianite to correctly interpret the dream? See Judges 7:10. The idea that a loaf of barley bread could topple a tent was ludicrous.
C3 Why did Gideon worship after hearing the interpretation?
C4 Why the strange method to fight an army (3 groups of 100 soldiers having a torch under a jar, breaking the jars, blowing trumpets, and shouting, “For Yahweh and Gideon)?”
B5 Judges 7:19-25,
C1 In Judges 7:20, why the sword of the Lord? Is this a real sword or does it signify something else? How does this apply to our Christian life? See Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 4:12
C2 Did the Midianites have great confidence in their ability to win? Why did they lose?
B6 Is God’s calling able to give strength to the weakest of Believers?
C1 Gideon was a timid man. He needed much encouragement. God gave a great victory.
C2 Some verses
D1 I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 [GodsWord])
D2 In your strength I can crush an army;with my God I can scale any wall. (Psalms 18:29, NLT)
D3 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT)
D4 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit (Ephesians 3:16, NLT)
D5 Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; (Colossians 1:11, NKJV)
D6 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, (2 Timothy 1:12, NLT)
C3 Can God give what is necessary to accomplish His will? What has He called you to? He will give the strength and wisdom to do this.
C4 Since we are believers, He gives the strength, safety, and ability to live a Christian life.
C5 Can you give any examples in your life where God gave the strength to do something you never would/could on your own strength?
C6 Some specifics
D1 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5, NKJV)
D2 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” (Luke 24:49, NLT)
D3 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. (Hebrews 11:33-35, NLT)
C7 Does God give strength, wisdom, and ability if we disobey Him?
C8 After God helps us, what are we always to do? (Be thankful and give Him the glory).
C9 How will this passage change your life this week?
B7 Next week
C1 Destructive Patterns
C2 Theme: God can use flawed people
C3 Scriptures: Judges 16:1-31

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