By Harold Hoffman.
Judges chapter six verse seven, “And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord because of the Midianites, that the Lord sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out before you, and gave you their land; and I said unto you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice. And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pretained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, the Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” I will speak to you today from this subject: God always looks above the bottom line.
I was taught was that you will not have faith in your life just because you hear the word of the Lord. We have been taught that ” faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of the Lord.” I was taught,
as well as you have been, that as long as we are exposed to the word of the Lord we will have faith. Scriptures teach us that “faith cometh be hearing and hearing by the word of the Lord.” The preached word will do nothing more than bring you faith to you. Hebrews said there were people that the word preached unto them profited them nothing because it was not mixed with faith. When the word of the Lord is preached faith cometh by the word, With your faith. You must mix your faith with the faith that comes from the word of the Lord. Then you will have the power of the Holy Ghost in this place. Hallelujah!
In the book of Judges the Lord had promised Israel the land. He said that it would be in their families forever. He said that you’re going to live in a house that you did not build. He said that you would
drink from wells that you did not dig. He said that you would drink from vineyards that you didn’t plant. You would eat from a garden in which you did not sow the seed. But, He said that you when you get in
the land into that place that you did not build but I gave it to you. Do not forget what these people have done to you by the way, And, when they got into the land of Canaan they only drove out the foreigners as long as it was convenient, until they achieved a relative time of peace, and instead of driving them far enough away to where they would not haunt nor terrorize them for the present.
It is so vital that we do more than just clean up our house, that’s what baptism does. It’s just your life is a bucket, as mine was, and in it are sloshing around all sorts of things. But when you are baptized in the name of the Lord, in water, then all of that that is in you is dumped out. You are clean, you are pure. Scriptures teaches that that is the same as sweeping, garnishing your house. But then it (3) says you must put a strong man in that house because He said if you only sweep it and clean it up and do not put a strong
man in the house to enable that house to keep the clean state it achieved by your garnishing, then no only the same spirit will return to your life, but it said, that it will bring seven spirits worse that the first. A backslider is eight times worse than a sinner. You don’t play games with God. It’s the truth: That’s
why the Bible is very infatic, it’s not cheap to serve the Lord. Don’t ever think it’s going to be cheap to serve the Lord. It will cost you something to serve the Lord.
We buck and snort about some things. I want you to know that every government agency has got standards that they go by. Every corporation has got policy they abide by. Every business venture has got corporate policy and mandates that they abide by and if you violate them that’s your problem.
“It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted (the good things) the good word of God, and the powers
of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Hebrews 6:4-6).
The Midianites would come in. Every time they got ready to reap they would take all their grain. Every time the cows would have young they would steal them. Now, notice verse 11, “And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threhed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.” That tells me he was frightened. This was a hider.
Verse 13,”And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us?” This man is saying God forsook us. It says it, verse 13, “but now the Lord hath forsaken us.”
Verse 15, “And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor…and I am the least in my father’s house.” (This is a man that has a very low opinion of himself.)
Verse 17, “and he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign.”
Verses 22 and 23, “… Alas, 0 (my) Lord (and my) God: …I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face. And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not.”
Who do we have here? We have a frightened, poor, reticent, pessimistic farm boy. Can you relate? That’s Gideon’s opinion.
Verse 14, “And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?” He’s going to be a savior, God’s sending him.
Verse 16, “And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and u shalt smite the Midianites as one man.”
Verse 12, Oh, Gideon “thou mighty man of valour.” What’s God say? You are mighty! You are sent by God. You’re a God annointed, saving soldier. Now, I agree with Gideon’s opinion. The bottom line was that
he really was the least in his father’s house. He was a pessimist and very reticent. That’s what he was. But God never looks at the bottom line in your life. God always looks above the bottom line. He (Gideon)
saw himself as one way, God saw him as another way.
What ultimately happened — Gideon, the reticent, pessimistic, frightened farm boy actually became the God sent, God annointed, saving soldier of Israel; who blew the trumpets and cracked the pitchers, and
who went against the army with 300 men. God get His way because this man started seeing himself through the eyes of God and not just from his own optics.
I think about Philippians, chapter one, Paul said every time I think about you Philippi, every remembrance of you brings joy. When you go back into the book of Acts and study what happened to Paul when he was at Philippi you’ll find it wasn’t a most joyous experience. For Paul was in the midst of a mighty revival and there was a man in Macedonia who said come on over here and help us. It was a man that he saw in his vision. Paul went into Philippi, which was in Macedonia, but instead of meeting his man, he met a group of women in a women’s aglow prayer meeting down by the river. They had revival so good that it got
the attention of-the authorities and a riot inevitably came from that revival. And then, you’re going to find that the man ended up in jail and they were beaten. They were black and they were blue. The Bible
said they were in stocks and they were in bonds. But it did not keep them from singing. And at midnight Paul and Silas began to sing praises unto the Lord. And the prisoners heard them and they began to praise
and worship the Lord. At midnight God sent an earthquake. ALL the doors were open. The lesson is that freedom first came to people that were bound and knew the truth before freedom could ever come to bound people that did not know the truth. It’s the same way today, freedom will never-come to, bound people, who do not know the Lord until freedom first comes to people who claim to know the Lord.
Then they had an earthquake. Guess who comes waddling down the hallway with his sword drawn, ready to take his life. Paul’s man that he saw in the vision. The man that he saw in the vision. The man that he saw in the vision was not the women by the river, it was the jailer. Paul said every time I remember Philippi, I remember it with joy. But wait a minute Paul, there’s some things that happened to
you in Philippi that you’ve got no right to be joyful about.
Our opinion does not matter. God always looks above the bottom line.
Joseph had a vision that God was going to use him. That vision had to die and he ended up in prison saying, “How’s God ever going to make my vision live again?”
The disciples had a vision that Jesus was going to be the one to redeem Israel but Jesus died.
Abraham was told to kill the boy. Then I (God) will resurrect. Don’t bury the miracle. God will raise it up again.