Hiding in fear for his life, Gideon was surprised when the angel of the Lord called him to lead a rebellion against Israel’s enemies. Alistair Begg points out that God aided this Old Testament hero, not with positive thinking, but with the promise to be with him in the fight. From Gideon’s example, we can learn that God’s most useful servants are those who admit their inadequacy and look to Him for strength.
1The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. 2And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. 3For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. 5For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. 6And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.
7When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, 8the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. 9And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.”
11Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir,1 if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14And the Lord2 turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” 15And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.” 16And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” 17And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. 18Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.”
19So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah3 of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. 20And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. 21Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. 22Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” 23But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” 24Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
25That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father's bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it 26and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” 27So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.
28When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built. 29And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And after they had searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” 30Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.” 31But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.” 32Therefore on that day Gideon4 was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar.
33Now all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and they crossed the Jordan and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him. 35And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them.
36Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, 37behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” 38And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. 39Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” 40And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.
How has God been speaking to you through His Word in the past year? In Encore 2010, we’re highlighting some of the most requested messages from the past 12 months. With topics such as fear and anxiety, giving, attitudes, family, the church, and faith and salvation, there is encouragement from God’s Word for everyone.
|So Do Not Fear||Isaiah 41:10|
|A Biblical Approach to Anxiety||1 Peter 5:7|
|On Death and Dying||Ecclesiastes 12:1-14|
|Contentment or Corruption, Part Two||1 Timothy 6:6-10|
|Overflowing with Thankfulness, Part Two||Exodus 35:1-35|
|Asking God for Wisdom||James 1:5-8|
|The Goodness of God, Part One||Nehemiah 9:6-15|
|Redirecting Our Families||Nehemiah 9:38-10:39|
|Nature and Meaning of the Lord's Supper||Luke 22:17-20|
|The Baptism Debate||Acts 16:11-15|
|Three Facts True of Every Christian||1 Peter 1:1-2|
|Why God Sent His Son||Galatians 4:4 - Lamentations 4:5|
|Be Like Jesus|
When you teach a small child a new skill, it’s helpful to repeat it over and over. Likewise, as adults, we often learn best when we hear and apply a lesson or truth multiple times.
This compilation of our most popular messages of the year, chosen by our listeners, is designed to do just that: repeat the truths of God’s Word to us so that we can more fully understand the Bible and apply it to our lives. With messages on the meaning of the Gospel, God’s nature, spiritual warfare, trials and sufferings, and wisdom in relationships, this series will challenge all who listen.
|What is the Gospel?||Romans 1:16-17|
|The Power of the Gospel||Romans 1:16|
|About 12 Almost Christians||Acts 19:1-10|
|Are We Blind Too?||John 9:39-41|
|The Age of the Spirit||Acts 2:1-13 Acts 2:32-33|
|The Paradox of Christian Freedom||Romans 6:15-23|
|Spiritual Warfare||Ephesians 6:10-12|
|The Advantage of Weakness||2 Chronicles 20:1-19|
|Why Suffering||Job 16:7-17|
|The Biblical Role of Women||Titus 2:4-8|
|Teach Your Children Well, Part Two||Proverbs 22:6|
|Relationships||1 Peter 3:1-7|
Our most popular messages of 2012 are rich in both instruction and inspiration. For those seeking to strengthen their understanding and walk of faith, this series of messages from Alistair Begg points time and again to the One who provides both. Encore 2012 contains essential messages on the characteristics of true discipleship, the model for fatherhood, navigating life's difficulties, what it means to be a committed follower of Christ, and how Jesus fulfills God's purpose finally and fully. This series offers clarity and guidance to those desiring to live according to the will of God.
|A Christian Manifesto, Part One||Luke 6:20-27|
|A Christian Manifesto, Part Two||Luke 6:20-27|
|Divorce, Part One||Mark 10:1-9|
|Responding to Persecution, Part 1||Romans 12:14|
|Attitude Is Everything||Genesis 39:16-23|
|Prophet, Priest, King||Hebrews 1:1-4|
|One Thing You Lack||Mark 10:17-22|
|After Darkness, Light||Romans 3:21-26|
|The Calling of Committed Followers||Luke 5:1|
|And When I Come to Die||Hebrews 11:22|
|About Times and Dates, Part One||1 Thessalonians 4:13-18|
Once God rescues us from our sin, we can come to know Him more deeply by learning from His Word again and again. Encore 2013 presents a diverse collection of listener favorites from the past year. Spanning a variety of topics including the relevance of the Bible, church ministry, Christian character, and the biblical record of Jesus’ ministry, this series contains essential teaching that will navigate believers further down the road of their spiritual journey.
|The Bible: An Overview||Luke 24:27|
|Why Bother With The Bible?, Part One||2 Timothy 3:14-17|
|How to Ruin a Church's Effectiveness||Ephesians 4:25|
|The Pulpit: Its Powers and Pitfalls||1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5|
|Characteristics of Christian Love, Part Two||1 Corinthians 13:4-7|
|The Weakness of Power||2 Chronicles 26|
|A Warning Against Laziness||Proverbs 24:23-24 Proverbs 26:13-16|
|Holding Firmly to the End, Part One||Hebrews 3:1-19|
|Grace and Forgiveness||Mark 2:13-14|
|Sabbath Controversy||Mark 2:23-3:6|
|That's What Friends Are||Philippians 2:19-30|
|Compassionate Shepherd||Luke 7:1|
Does the Gospel speak to all of life? Our compilation of listener favorites from 2014 answers that question with a resounding “Yes.” In these messages, Alistair Begg explores God’s power to redeem and keep His people, His faithfulness in good times and bad from generation to generation, and the clarity with which His Word speaks into all of our circumstances and relationships. This series provides essential reminders that the basics of the Christian faith are the foundation upon which all of life is built.
|The Use and Abuse of Words||James 3:1-12|
|Alienation, Reconciliation||1 Peter 3:18|
|Becoming A Christian||Luke 5:12-13|
|The Biblical Basis For Baptism||Acts 2:36-47|
|The Patience of God||2 Peter 3:1-18|
|The Faithfulness of God||Lamentations 3:1-24|
|God's Faithfulness in Affliction||1 Peter 4:12-19|
|The Full Armor of God||Ephesians 6:13-18|
|True Living||Ecclesiastes 1:1-2:11|
|A Memorial Forever||Joshua 3:1-17 Joshua 4:1-24|
In triumphs and trials, in strength and weakness, in the smallest of details and in His eternal plan – God is always at work in and through the lives of His people. Encore 2015 collects listener favorites from the past year that provide Gospel insights from both Old and New Testaments in messages from Alistair Begg. Whatever circumstances we are facing, the messages in this series will remind us that God’s Word gives guidance for all people everywhere, calling us to develop our relationship with Him.
|The Priority of God's Word||1 Thessalonians 5:27-28|
|Passing on the Truth, Part Two||2 Timothy 2:1-2|
|When Trials Come, Part One||James 1:1-3|
|The Power of Weakness||2 Corinthians 12:1-10|
|Gideon, The Weakest & The Least||Judges 6:1-40|
|Mindful, Mighty, Merciful||Luke 1:46-56|
|Zechariah’s Song||Luke 1:67-75|
|Happiness Revisited||Psalms 32:10-11|
|The Unseen Hand of God||Esther 6:1-14|
|Seeing, Caring, Thinking, Praying||Matthew 9:35-38|
|The Other Man's Grass||Exodus 20:17|
|Good News for Lawbreakers||Romans 3:20-21|
Turning from sin and turning to Christ are marks of a converted life, but what does life look like after conversion? Encore 2016 brings together a collection of listener favorites from the Old and New Testaments to answer this question. In these messages, Alistair Begg explores how knowing God changes everything. Our relationships, words, deeds, and even our private thoughts are affected by accepting the truths of the Gospel. In addition to Gospel narrative, this compilation provides Biblical guidance on topics such as marriage, longing, submission, discipleship and church membership, showing us that a commitment to follow Christ is a commitment to bring all aspects of our life under His loving authority.
|I Take You||Genesis 2:24|
|How To Avoid Marital Failure|
|A Word to the Wise||Ecclesiastes 1:1-18|
|Eternity on My Mind||Ecclesiastes 3:1-15|
|Look and Be Amazed!||Habakkuk 1:5-2:1|
|The Fatherhood of God|
|The Birth of Jesus Christ, Part One||Luke 2:1-5|
|Preaching the Gospel from Ruth||Ruth 1:1-22|
|Submitting to God, Part One||James 4:7-10|
|Saying No to Slander||James 4:11|
|An Ill-Conceived Rebuke||Mark 8:31-9:1|
|Membership Matters||Romans 12:4-5|
|A Call to Commitment||Romans 12:1-2|
At a time when truth seems increasingly difficult to find, the 21st-century Christian must look to one place for guidance: God’s Word. Encore 2017 brings together a collection of listener favorites that point us to the Bible as we seek to connect with a lost and broken world. Whether we’re facing anxiety, struggling with laziness, or simply trying to be a better spouse, God’s Word offers a wealth of wisdom and encouragement. In these messages, Alistair Begg emphasizes the centrality of Scripture as it reveals God’s character, purpose, and plan for the lives of His children. With an identity rooted in what Christ accomplished on the cross, believers can confidently share the Word of God and help the perishing come face-to-face with their Savior.
|Bring Out the Book||Nehemiah 8:1-12|
|The Genealogy of Jesus||Matthew 1:1-17|
|No Place For Truth||Acts 17:16-34|
|The Danger of Deception||2 John 1:7-13|
|The Baptism Debate||Acts 16:11-15|
|Being a Wife-God's Way||1 Peter 3:1-6|
|Being a Husband-God's Way||1 Peter 3:7|
|A Warning Against Laziness||Proverbs 24:23-24 Proverbs 26:13-16|
|All Your Anxiety (The Cove)||1 Peter 5:7|
|An ART Lesson||Colossians 1:21-23|
|God of the Exiles||Daniel 1:1-21|
|Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God||John 6:35-40|
|Evangelism-Dealing with Difficulties, Part Two|