Uniform Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday June 11, 2017
Purpose: To recognize that God is always with us, even when we doubt or feel abandoned
Bible Lesson: Judges 6:11-18
Background Scripture: Judges 6–8
Key Verse: The Lord’s messenger appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” (Judges 6:12)
Judges 6:11-18 (CEB)
(11) Then the Lord’s messenger came and sat under the oak at Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. (12) The Lord’s messenger appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!”
(13) But Gideon replied to him, “With all due respect, my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his amazing works that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, ‘Didn’t the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and allowed Midian to overpower us.”
(14) Then the Lord turned to him and said, “You have strength, so go and rescue Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not personally sending you?”
(15) But again, Gideon said to him, “With all due respect, my Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I’m the youngest in my household.”
(16) The Lord replied, “Because I’m with you, you’ll defeat the Midianites as if they were just one person.” (17) Then Gideon said to him, “If I’ve gained your approval, please show me a sign that it’s really you speaking with me.
(18) Don’t leave here until I return, bring out my offering, and set it in front of you.”
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
This is our second in this series of “Called to be Strong.” I have always been fascinated by the story of Gideon. For many years I was a member of Gideon’s International, the group that used to distribute New Testaments and Bibles to 5th graders, graduates, hotels and doctor offices. Most of that has now been discontinued because of pressure from government agencies.
As I read this story, I am amused at the humor God shows. When Gideon is cowering in a winepress threshing out enough grain to make bread to feed his family, peering out over the top looking for the enemy, the Lord introduces Himself to Gideon, by saying “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” You have to love Gideon's response, “With all due respect, my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?" I think Gideon’s question is a legitimate question and one most of us have ask ourselves.
When Gideon responds “With all due respect, my Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I’m the youngest in my household.” The challenge for us today is believing God’s answer. “Because I’m with you.”
When we are called by God to do His work and He has called us to perform for Him we can be assured that He is with us.
I recall how some 30 years ago, my wife, Katherine, asked a similar question. She felt God’s call on her to do something, but what? After a time of prayer, she felt God calling her to minister to young married women. She organized a study group that would meet every week, study, pray, and encourage each other. This group of young mothers and wives grew into a real source of ministry for these women.
While they faced many problems at home with raising children, running a household and tending to the needs of their husbands, their own spiritual life suffered. The only way this was a successful endeavor was because the Lord was with her. Many of those women are now grandmothers and active in their local church, and many still look back to that time and group as helping them to survive raising a Christian family.
God does not always call the equipped, but He will always equip the called. Both Gideon and Katherine had doubts, but with God’s help, both succeeded. Never be afraid to accept God’s call on your life.
My hymn for this week is “Jesus Calls Us.”