Search This Blog

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Gideon’s Lessons for Worship Leaders [Judges 6-8]

1. Size and importance doesn’t matter.
By Gideon’s own comments, he was from the “weakest family in Manasseh and the youngest in his family”. Being useful for the Lord, is not dependent on the size of the group to which you minister, or if you are serving “in one of the great congregations” of the area. God’s understanding of “greatest” is not measured the way our culture measures it.

2. He was faithful and brave in little things.
When God calls out Gideon for service he is threshing wheat in a wine press, a place that he could help provide food for his family, but in a way that the enemy would not see.

3. He was called of God to do what he did; he didn’t dream it up on his own. Gideon did not have dreams and aspirations of becoming a great general and winning fame and riches for himself . He had no delusions of grandeur. After attending a mega meeting and seeing all the glitz and fame some worship leaders seem to have, it is easy for that to become an attraction and for some to want to desire that for themselves. That is not a call from God, only an ambitious desire.

4. When he realizes that it was an angel of the Lord that had been speaking to him, his first response is worship, not boasting about what had happened.
Judges 6:23 states that after the angel of the Lord had vanished from his sight, Gideon cried out in fear, but God tells him not to be afraid. His first response was to build an altar, which he names “The Lord is peace.”

5. Before he could do great things for God, he had to deal with the idolatry in his own household.
He worship experience is followed by obedience to what God tells him to do. God then instructs Gideon to tear down the altar to Baal that was on his father’s land and offer a sacrifice using the wood from the idol, which he does. Even though he is ridiculed for what he did, he remained obedient.

6. The Spirit of God did not come upon Gideon until he had been obedient in what God had called him to do by tearing down the idol of Baal. Obedience in the little things is prerequisite before we are useful for the larger tasks. As Jesus said in the parable of the talents, he that is faithful in little, will be given more. There must be a willingness to do what seems to be insignificant jobs with an uncomplaining spirit, before we are entrusted with greater tasks.

7. He was humble, and needed reassurance that this was what God wanted him to do. There have been many sermons on the weaknesses of Gideon’s “throwing out a fleece,” or asking God for proof for what God was calling him to do. And in one sense, it is true, because of a lack of faith, he did ask for confirmation. However, Gideon is listed in faith’s “Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11, so there must be something more here. Consider, that he did probably did not have easy access to scripture, and no prophet is even on the scene until Samuel, years later. He was well aware of his inability to accomplish the task. He did not doubt that God could do it, only his own involvement in the task.

8. God looks for those who will give Him the glory. God reduced the number of soldiers from 32,000 to 300, which is a great study in itself, but we’ll save that for another time. God’s desire was to work in such a way that the Israelites would not say that is was by their own skill and strength that they defeated the enemy, but that would realize that it was by God’s hand alone. Such is a model for our ministry in leading worship: it must be for God’s glory, not done in such a way that we become the focus of attention, or used as a stepping stone to a “better situation.”

9. Once Gideon acts on faith, God provides a sign to reassure Gideon that the victory was God’s. The first sign, the fleece, was at Gideon’s request, but the next, Gideon’s overhearing the enemy’s soldier’s conversation [Judges 6:9-15] was God’s initiative, showing Gideon that He was already working on his behalf. Notice that Gideon’s first response to God’s sign, is worship.

10. Gideon followed God’s plan, and taught others to do what he was doing.
When it was time, Gideon tells the 300 men under his charge, “Watch me, and do what I do.” [Judges 6:17]. Worship is not something we tell other to do, it is something we do and ask others to follow in what we are doing.

11. God brings the victory for Himself as Gideon was obedient to do what God had instructed.
The army was defeated, God was glorified, all because Gideon was obedient, and believed what God had promised.

12. Gideon was persistent.
The battle that followed was tough. The previous night’s destruction had left 120,000 men dead, but 15,000 had fled. Gideon didn’t say that his part was over, but took his 300 men after them. Even when denied help [Judges 8:4-9], he kept on pursuing until he had captured the kings of the enemy.

13. The reminder of his victory, became an idol unto itself. Gideon refused to become Israel’s king, stating that only God was their king, but did take a ring from each of his men’s share of the war booty. With this he made an ephod, a gold woven garment, similar to what the priests wore. This symbol of Israel’s victory over the enemy became an idol that they worshiped, rather than the God that had given them the victory. Any victory we might experience, any experience we might have can become an idol in and of itself and take us away from the very One who gave the victory or experience.

I trust these lessons can be of help to all of us who lead in worship.

No comments:

Post a Comment