Saturday, July 07, 2012

God Can See Us Through (from the Cutting Room Floor)

From this preacher's "cutting room," a paragraph that didn't make it into tomorrow's sermon on 2 Corinthians 12:2-10:
One of my favorite incidents in the Bible is that involving Gideon, a simple farmer God called to lead His people, Israel, in war against a people called the Midianites who were harassing Israel. 
Gideon had no experience as a soldier. But God called Gideon anyway. 
Then, God told Gideon to recruit an army. He did, a force of 32,000 meant to go up against Midianites 135,000 experienced fighting men. 
But look at what God tells Gideon to do next in Judges 7
In verse 2, God tells Gideon that he has too many soldiers. Gideon needs to demobilize his forces. 
In verse 3, God orders Gideon to say that whoever is afraid of going into battle (who wouldn't be?) should go back where it’s safe, to Mount Gilead. That left 22,000 troops. 
But then God says, that’s still too many to fight the 135,000 Midianites. So, God creates a strange test, detailed in verses 5 and 6, whittling Gideon’s force down to 300 men! 
Look at what God says in verse 7: “By the three hundred...I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to their place.” 
Gideon and the people of Israel learned what Paul learned some 1200 years later, when God didn’t take away his "thorn in the flesh," a suffering that did not go away: Our power is finite and impotent; but God’s grace is always sufficient. God can see us through no matter what the circumstances of our lives!

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