Text: Judges 6:7-10
I. Introduction: The context that sets up the story of Gideon is that Israel had strayed from their devotion to God and had followed after the lesser gods of their neighbors. Because of this, God allowed their enemies to take advantage of them, abuse them, and impoverish them. 1. We will look at who these gods were and why Israel would have followed after them. 2. We will look at how the enemies of Israel were able to oppress them. 3. We will look at some possible parallels for our own spiritual lives and why we might be struggling in our faithfulness to God.
II. Paying Reverence to Other Gods
a. Asherah – Fertilely (brought good harvest, children, bounty)
b. Baal – Storm (brought rain, brought wrath and destruction too)
III. Thick as Locusts
a. “Midianite” was Synonymous with Strife.
b. Countless Numbers
c. Robbed and Ruined the Resources
d. Drove Israel Into the Hills
e. Israel was Impoverished
IV. What has Encamped Against our Hearts?
a. Oversaturation with Media because we are medicating our stress.
b. Overbearing Cultural Identification because we favor the opinions of man instead of God.
c. Overdependence upon Money because we don’t fully trust God to take care of us and meet our needs.
Conclusion: We may be driven to create strongholds in our own lives so we can maintain status quos and feel better about life. Contending with the culture around us will always be more difficult than compromising with it. If we continue to turn to lesser gods, then God Almighty will allow those things to encamp against us and humble us. The purpose behind this is that we might taste our need for God and turn in repentance from those things that contend for God’s place in our hearts