MESSAGE – Lessons from the Life of Gideon: Expect Retaliation.
TEXT Judges 6:28-34
I. Introduction: As soon as Gideon accomplishes his task, there is immediate backlash. The town folk are not just bothered, they demand his life. His father, Joash, comes to his defense. Baal is unable to strike back at Gideon without the help of his worshippers because he is powerless on his own. A large army of three nations came together against Israel. The Abiezrites are called to assist Gideon in the fight.
II. Backlash and Habit
a. When you take out a stronghold that the enemy has had for a long time, the enemy will always try and take it back. Jesus explains that the enemy will come back with seven of his friends to make sure that it never falls again. (Matt 12:43-45). Backlash will err on the side of noise though (FEAR). If the enemy can get you afraid, he will be able to take back his ground without a fight.
b. The other element to be aware of is habit. Sometimes., we do the enemies work for him as we fall back into our old patterns of living and then he just cozies on up to us in our ruts.
III. The Outside World Crashes In: Once we are able to take down the strongholds in our own hearts, the bigger picture will always focus its intensity on us. Just as Gideon jumped out of the pot and into the fire, our battles with strongholds are likely to grow from bad to horrible rather quickly. This can be very disheartening.
IV. But God…
a. Remember how Gideon put God first. We must follow suit.
b. Joash means “God Supports Man” – God comes to the aid of weak people who are tearing down their strongholds.
c. Abiezrites. Abiezer means, “My Father is My Help” – When the world crashes in on you, your heavenly Father will come to your aide.
Conclusion: If you answer to call of God to tear down the enemy strongholds in your life, the enemy will fight back.This is to be expected, but not feared.We do not need to fear because God always offers the strength needed to overcome the enemy.God is our helper.He sends the Holy Spirit to empower us to obey and to protect us from the enemy.It is important to note that when we are called to fight the enemy, it is not by hiding in our holes.We are meant to be on offense, not defense.