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Gideon Captures the Waters

Our sermon text for April 6 is Judges 7:24-8:21.  This text covers Gideon and his 300 solders pursuing the 15,000 Midianite soldiers who had fled from the devastating slaughter that occurred in the valley of Jezreel.


Verse 24 includes a command from Gideon to “capture the waters.”  What does this mean?  What does Gideon mean when he says to “capture the waters?”


In Judges 8:1-3, Ephraim challenges Gideon for not including them earlier in the battle.  How do you understand this challenge?  What right does Ephraim have to challenge Gideon is this way?  Did Gideon have a responsibility to include Ephraim in his war plans?  If so, from where did this obligation originate?


In Judges 8:4-9, Gideon encounters two more challenge; one from the people of Succoth and another from the people of Penuel.  Both of these challenges are essentially the same.  In what way did they challenge Gideon?  What nationality were the people of Succoth and Penuel?  Where was their allegiance?  What was wrong with the way they treated Gideon?  If you were the mayor of Succoth or Penuel, how would you have responded?


What do these challenges tell us about human nature?  Can you see any parallels between these challenges Gideon experienced and the challenges that are sometimes experienced in the church?  In our society?  In our private lives?