Week 4 – The Warrior and the Coward
Three Truths of Confident Weakness
Renewing the Mind: This week as you are confronted with your weaknesses, see them as opportunities for God’s dunamis (strength, power) to be made complete. Can you rejoice that God’s power is demonstrated through your weakness?
Meditate on II Corinthians 12:9-10, especially, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Also meditate on II Corinthians 13:4 “Likewise we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power will live with Him to serve you.”
As you read II Corinthians 12:10, what areas of your life can you say with Paul, “For when I am weak, then I am strong”?
I turned 66 this February. With the aging process, as I look to the future it can seem uncertain. But when I focus on Christ and the words of assurance he speaks to my heart, I know I must place my trust, not in the flesh, but in Him.
Describe a time this week when you knew you were weak in your own flesh, wisdom or strength, but you trusted in God’s strength and sufficiency.
In my need to launch myself into a personal weight loss program and my struggle to stick with it, the Lord has strengthened me. Whereas in times past I soon lost my momentum, this time, not only has he supplied the desire, but He has helped me to persevere.
Tolerance for the opinions of others is another issue that often challenges me. I am praying for the mindset to extend freedom and grace to all my friends, such the Lord grants to each individual.
God has strengthened my faith by answering the smallest prayers.
Reading This Week: Read Joshua chapters 1, and 5:13 through chapters 6, and Judges Chapters 6-8.
Note: You may want to read the stories of Joshua and Gideon a couple times before you answer the following questions.
Joshua’s story – Numbers 13 -14:38, Exodus 17:8-16. Joshua chapters 1, 3-6 (If time is short, concentrate mainly on Joshua 1 and 5:13 through chapter 6)
Gideon’s story - Judges Chapters 6-8
II. Read about Joshua in Numbers 13:14:38 and Exodus 17:8-16. Write any observations you see about Joshua’s character in these passages.
1. He was nearly fierce in his loyalty to God and Moses, God’s servant. Nu. 14:16
2. He exhibited his passion for God and his commands by tearing his clothing when he saw that the Israelites were sinning against Him. Nu. 4:6
3. Joshua looked on the positive side in his report regarding the Promised Land. Nu. 14:7
4. He looked to the Lord for his strength in battle.
5. So far as I can determine Joshua was obedient to the letter. Ex. 17:10
6. Since God spoke courage into Joshua on several occasions, this is possibly a weak area for him.
II. Read Joshua chapters 1, 3-6. Make a list of Joshua’s strengths and weaknesses.
1. He remembered God’s instructions and taught them to those under his command.
2. God exalted Joshua before the people.
3. He was obedient.
4. The reproach of Egypt was rolled away from him.
5. He was an able military leader.
God told him 3 times to be strong – verses 6-9. Since Moses had been leader of Israel for quite some time, with Caleb and Joshua second and third in command, possibly Joshua felt dubious about stepping into the first position of responsibility
III. In any of the passages above, did you see evidence that Joshua walked by faith, and not by sight? (II Corinthians 5:7) If so, give examples.
Joshua walked by faith when he believed God would give the Israelites a victory over the inhabitants of the land of Canaan and in God’s ability to bless them mightily once they occupied.
He also believed God when He gave him the strange command about how to conquer Jericho.
I did detect that Joshua seemed to feel more comfortable with orders that were spelled out for him, A.B.C. Nebulous instructions or mere suggestions would have been hard for him. He was very organized.
IV. Read the story of Gideon in Judges 6, 7, and 8. Make a list of Gideon’s strengths and weaknesses.
1. He was a hospitable man. verse 19
2. He feared God. verse 22
3. Despite his fears, Gideon believed God and obeyed him.
4. He gave God the glory for military victories, refusing to rule over the people.
1. He was too timid and fearful.
2. He required a sign from God, when God’s word should have been enough.
3. He made an ephod that became a snare to his family and to Israel.
V. What questions did Gideon ask the Angel of the Lord in Judges 6:13-15?
If the Lord be with us, why have all these tragedies happened to us? Where are all the miracles which our fathers told us of when God brought us out of the land of Egypt? How can I save Israel when my family is poor and insignificant in Israel?
God told him to go in ‘this, thy might’ (or in other words in the might He had given him) and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. He said, “Surely I will be with you and smite the Israelites as one man.”
VI. Do you see yourself more as a Joshua or a Gideon? Why?
Gideon. Because I seem to need lots of reassurance from God, reminders that He will be with me in the larger trials of life.
Excerpted from Belinda Dunn "Confident Weakness" Bible Study. Outline and questions by Belinda Dunn. Answers and comments by Janice Cartwright.