OUR ANCHOR HOLDS – Hebrews 6:13-20

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on May 27, 2015 under PM Bible Study | Be the First to Comment

PM Home Bible Study Group; May 27, 2015

Hebrews 6:13-20

Theme: The basis of our spiritual security is the sure promises of God through Christ.

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Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on under PM Bible Study | Be the First to Comment

PM Home Bible Study Group; May 27, 2015

Hebrews 7:1-28

Theme: Jesus is presented to us as the High Priest of a better covenant by being of a superior priestly order than that of Levi.

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Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on under AM Bible Study | Be the First to Comment

AM Bible Study Group; May 27, 2015 from Judges 7:8b-15

Theme: When God calls His servants to a task, He knows how to give them necessary assurances along the way.

(All Scripture is taken from The New King James Version, unless otherwise indicated).

In our last time together, we saw how God had diminished Gideon army down from 32,000 men to only 300; and affirmed to him that this dramatically small number to be sufficient for Him to give an army of 135,000 Midianites into their hand. This was, of course, because nothing is too hard for our God. But it would have been an unspeakably overwhelming situation for a mere man. And so—knowing the frailty of His appointed servant—God provided Gideon an additional grace of assurance just before the battle. This would be in addition to the confirmation that God had already given Gideon—at Gideon’s request—through the two signs of the fleece (Judges 6:36-40). A new situation of a reduced army needed a new assurance from God. As Matthew Henry so wonderfully put it; “Gideon’s army being diminished as we have found it was, he must either fight by faith or not at all; God therefore here provides recruits for his faith, instead of recruits for his forces.”

There is a great lesson for us in this passage. Our God—who calls us to do great things for His cause—knows that we are weak and frail. And so, when He calls us to the service of His cause, He not only provides all that is necessary externally for the task, but also all that is necessary internally. He gives us needed assurances along the way.

Note how this passage shows us . . .


A. Gideon’s army had just been reduced to 300 men. They took their provisions in hand and prepared themselves for God’s call. It’s then that the passage impresses us with the situation that Gideon faced—as he himself saw it: “Now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.” If you were to look ahead to verse 12, you’d see that—humanly speaking—it would have been a dreadfully fearful and impossible situation. But God knew how Gideon would feel. And He knew what Gideon would have needed. As Psalm 103 tells us,

As a father pities his children,

So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

For He knows our frame;

He remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:13-14).

B. Gideon himself may not have fully understood how much assurance from God he would have needed along the way; but God certainly knew. We’re told, “It happened on the same night [that is, the night of the reduction of the troops and of their preparation for battle] that the Lord said to him, ‘Arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand’” (v. 9). Consider that carefully! From the standpoint of God, the outcome of the battle was already a done deal. It had already been “given” into Gideon’s hand. That might be all that was needed. Nevertheless, God says more; “’But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, and you shall hear what they say; and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp’” (v. 9-11a). To go down to the outskirts of such an opposing army would not have been a natural thing to do if one was truly afraid of that army! But God promised Gideon that if he heard what they were saying in the camp, Gideon’s ‘hands’ would be ‘strengthened’ for the task. Whenever we face overwhelming odds in a seemingly-impossible call of God, if we would simply do what God says—even when it doesn’t make human sense to do it—then we will find that He provides needed encouragement while on the way.

C. We’re told, “Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outpost of the armed men who were in the camp” (v. 11b). The fact that Gideon went suggests to us that he did indeed need the encouragement that God was about to provide to him! And note also that, in all this, God also provided Purah to be a companion in the assurance! God not only knows when we need assurance, but also that we need another partner in faith with whom to share it.


A. The means getting to this necessary provision of assurance certainly didn’t seem natural. Gideon and Purah went to ‘the outpost of the armed men’! That would have been to draw dangerously close to this dreaded enemy. And what’s more, we’re told, “Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude” (v. 12). The sight of this vast army would ordinarily have terrified a fearful man—certainly not ‘assure’ him! God is being honest with His servant—letting him see the situation as it really was. But in showing it all to him, God was also letting him see more than what met the eye.

B. The encouragement came from eavesdropping! We’re told, “And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, ‘I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed’” (v. 13). The symbolism here is important. A barely loaf was nothing impressive. It was a poor-man’s food. It reflected the manner in which the Midianites had oppressed God’s people—nearly impoverishing them by the destruction of their crops (see Judges 6:1-10). And that’s all Gideon and his army of 300 were—little more than a barley bun. The tent of the Midianites, however, spoke of their establishment in the land, As nomadic people, their tents were solid and strong. They didn’t fall over easily. This reflects the attitude of the Midianites, who had—they thought—set up a stronghold in the land of Israel. The barley loaf did something remarkable. It knocked the tent over—pegs and cords and all—and caused it to completely collapse.

C Then came the interpretation. We’re told, “Then his companion answered and said, ‘This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp’” (v. 14). Think carefully of that! How did this man even know who Gideon was? It wouldn’t be because Gideon had assembled a great army, because God had cut Gideon’s army down to almost nothing. And how was it that this man uttered the name of God (Elohim) and not Baal; and said God had delivered the camp of the Midianites into Gideon’s hand—just as God Himself had just said to Gideon? There’s no other way to explain it except that God allowed the one man to give a divinely revealed interpretation to the other—right at the very moment that Gidean and Purah could overhear it!. As the Old Testament scholars Keil and Delizch wrote:

The Israelites had really been crushed by the Midianites into a poor nation of slaves. But whilst the dream itself admits of being explained in this manner in a perfectly natural way, it acquires the higher supernatural character of a divine inspiration, from the fact that God not only foreknew it, but really caused the Midianite to dream, and to relate the dream to his comrade, just at the time when Gideon had secretly entered the camp, so that he should hear it, and discover therefrom, as God had foretold him, the despondency of the foe. Under these circumstances, Gideon could not fail to regard the dream as a divine inspiration, and to draw the assurance from it, that God had certainly given the Midianites into his hands.

God gave the assurance to Gideon that he needed—and right when he needed it!


A. Gideon did the right thing with this assurance he had been given. He could tell that this was a gift from God; and so we’re told, “And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped” (v. 15a). Right then and there—probably not too loudly, though!—he worshiped God and acknowledged not only God’s gift of the assurance, but that God would indeed give the victory.

B. He now had a great story to tell; and couldn’t—and shouldn’t!—keep it to himself. We’re told,

“He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, ‘Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand’” (v. 15b).

Purah was there also; and could affirm every word of the encouragement from God.

* * * * * * * * * *

In light of this, consider what we’re told in Hebrews 11; “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword . . .” (Hebrews 11:32-34a).

And note especially what we’re told after that; that these great heroes of faith (including Gideon) were they who “out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens (v. 34b). When God calls us to a task, we can safely go. He knows how to give us strengthening assurances along the way!

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Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on May 24, 2015 under 2015 | Be the First to Comment

Message preached Sunday, May 24, 2015 from Mark 6:1-6a

Theme: Even those who are most familiar with Jesus can suffer lost opportunities through unbelief.

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Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on May 20, 2015 under AM Bible Study | Be the First to Comment

AM Bible Study Group; May 20, 2015 from Judges 7:1-8a

Theme: The limitations that God allows us to experience are so that His sufficiency may be revealed.

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Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on May 17, 2015 under 2015 | Be the First to Comment

Message preached Sunday, May 17, 2015 from Mark 5:21-43

Theme: Our faith in Jesus is often not just for ourselves alone—but is for the benefit of others who also need to trust Him.

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