One of the highlights of National Leadership Conference every year is the Forum on Expository Preaching, which yearly features one of America’s leading expository Bible teachers. The setup is for the man to deliver a message and then explain some of the apparatus of preaching, answer questions from the crowd, etc. This year’s speaker is Bryan Chapell, president of Covenant Seminary here in St. Louis. For the record, this is our second Presbyterian in a row…

At any rate, his text this morning was Judges 7, the story of Gideon whipping the Midianites (135K strong) with 300 men. Actually, that’s not quite right; the story is of God whipping the Midianites through Gideon with 300 men. Chapell brought in Judges 6 and 8 as well, illustrating what a mediocre guy Gideon really was, in actuality, not exactly a paragon of faith. In chapter 6, Gideon keeps on asking God for proof that God really is in control, really is going to deliver His people, really will be with Gideon. Judges 6, by the way, is Biblical “justification” for the idea of “putting out a fleece”, which taken in context is not an act of faith, but an act of unfaith, something I’d never encourage a person to do in order to “discern God’s will”. Chapter 8 talks about Gideon royally screwing up as well. But in all of this, God determines to bless Gideon, to use Gideon for His purposes.

Another reminder–and we need these all the time–that it’s all about grace, and nothing, zero, zilch, about us and our ability.

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