Can peace be found in troubled times?

Series: The Name Game

Title: Can peace be found in troubled times?

Date: Dec. 16, 2018

Scripture: Judges 6:1-24

 

Intro: Today we will continue our sermon series entitled, “The Name Game.” In this series we have been looking at the different names which describe God. Last week we discovered that God is our Healer. This week we will see that God can be our Peace. We will see this played out in Judges chapter 6. Please open your Bibles to Judges chapter 6 and we will be reading verses 1 through 24. Our sermon for today is called, “Can peace be found in troubled times?” The time in which the book of Judges took place is a time that is tumultuous. They have no true leader to guide them and the people are simply doing what is right in their own eyes.

 

* Read

* Pray

 

My hope today is that we all will see that God can provide true peace even in troubled times.

 

Thoughts:

  • Nothing good is accomplish from doing evil (v.1-6)
    • Israel did evil and the Lord allowed them to be tormented by Midian for 7 years
      • Don’t look down upon Israel and their sinful mistakes because we do the exact same! We at times do evil things! Why? We are sinners just like they were!

 

  • The sin of the nation impacted the lives of individuals (Happened in the past and it happens today)
      • Crops were ravished, Livestock was stolen, Fear was widespread, Fleeing was the only answer it seemed

 

  • The sins of America impact our daily lives
    • Allowing abortion
    • Legalizing certain drugs
    • Pushing God out of government and public schools
    • Promoting Gay Rights
    • Redefining marriage
    • Redefining gender

 

  • When we are pursuing evil the peace of God is absent from our lives.
  • When problem arise because of our evil actions we will try to hide from the consequences of our problems
    • The children of Israel running to hide in caves

 

    • Nothing good is accomplished from doing evil

 

  • God hears our cries of despair (v. 7-10)
    • Notice God’s answer – He had provided for them and gave them a command to follow but they did not obey.

 

  • Sometimes the answer to our prayer is to get things right.
    • I am sure that the children of Israel wanted a different answer. Maybe something like, “Don’t worry I’m gonna send fire from heaven to devour them the next time they come to take all your stuff.”
  • God doesn’t always answer our prayers like we think He will.
    • Why? We don’t know anything!
  • Go ahead and cry out to God for help but be prepared to hear the truth in love.

 

  • Wrong perspectives give us a wrong view (v. 11-13)
    • God Himself goes to Gideon and says, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.”
      • Gideon was going to be the answer to the peoples prayer
    • Notice that Gideon doesn’t respond like some others
      • Here I am LORD, what can I do?
  • Gideon questioned whether God was really with him
    • If God is with me:
      • Then why has all this happened (Midian oppressing them and him having to thresh wheat in secret.)
      • Then where are God’s miracles that I have heard so much about
      • Then why has God abandoned us
    • Gideon’s wrong perspective gave him a wrong view of God
      • God had abandoned them therefore all these bad things happened. All these problems were God’s fault!
    • But, who abandoned who?
      • God didn’t abandon Israel, Israel had abandoned God!
      • Don’t get angry at Gideon for having that thought process because we still do that today! As believers we often say that God has abandoned us and that is why we are struggling. Pause and think for moment, “Why would God, who is perfect and has never lied, tell us, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
      • Who abandons who? It us that abandons God and then we blame God instead of looking and seeing the ways that we have disobeyed Him.

 

  • Having wrong perspectives and a wrong view will keep us from seeing the peace which God provides

 

  • God sees things that we don’t (v.14-15)
    • God calls Gideon to be the one to go and deliver Israel from the hands of the Midianites but Gideon is not so sure.
    • Gideon doesn’t see himself as having any strength:
      • His family was the least in the tribe of Manasseh
      • He was the youngest in his family
      • He was saying that was an insignificant nobody!

 

  • God saw differently.
  • God sees things in us that we don’t see ourselves.
      • That is wonderful news!
  • God saw in Gideon:
    • Humility
    • Hard working – Willing to thresh the wheat in secret to provide for his family
    • A desire for God to work among his people
  • Many times we are just like Gideon. All we see in ourselves are all the flaws and weaknesses.
    • Timid, soft spoken, Shy, Insignificant, Worthless, A nobody, live in a small town, I go to a small church, etc.
  • God knows the flaws and weaknesses which you have and yet He still desires to use you! Why? Because He sees things that we don’t!

 

 

  • Remember:
    • With God ALL THINGS are possible
    • Nothing is too DIFFICULT for God
    • God uses the simple to confound the wise
    • God uses imperfect people to deliver a perfect message of hope.

 

 

  • God provides peace (vv. 20-24)
    • During this whole situation Gideon isn’t sure who this visitor is but when the visitor consumes the offering with fire from the rock and vanishes, Gideon realizes he has seen God.
    • When Gideon recognizes that he has seen God he cries out in great alarm over the belief that he must die.
    • God replies, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”
      • God revealed to Gideon that He was the God of Peace.
        • Safety, Completeness, Quietness, Friendship.
      • When Gideon recognizes the true character of God he responds by building an altar (an act of worship) and he named it Jehovah-Shalom (The LORD is Peace)

 

  • True peace comes when we recognize who God really is
    • When Gideon experienced God’s grace he recognized that God is Peace.
    • When we recognize who God really is than we can also experience the PEACE that He alone provides.
      • Romans 5:1 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, …

 

 

God’s PEACE:

  • Drives out anxiety and fear
    • John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, not let it be fearful.

 

  • Provides calm in times of great distress
    • John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

 

  • Surpasses our comprehension
    • Phil. 4:7 – And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Aren’t those some amazing benefits that we can have when we recognize that God is PEACE?

 

Let me bring us back to the main question, “Can peace be found in troubled times?” The answer is yes but it only comes when recognize that God is the God of PEACE.

 

 

Colossians 3:15 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body and be thankful.