Bible Study: Overcoming Fear and Insecurity

In this Bible study about Gideon’s life, you’ll learn how to achieve victory over fear and insecurity.

Have you ever been afraid of obeying God? Have you avoided responsibility because you felt inadequate? God wants you to place your confidence in Him, not yourself. In this Bible study about Gideon’s life, you’ll learn how to achieve victory over fear and insecurity.

Read Judges 6-8.

A. Feeling afraid or unworthy doesn’t disqualify us from being used by God.

  • Briefly describe Israel’s situation in Gideon’s day (Judg. 6:1-6).

  • Now go back and read Exodus 33:20-22. Why do you think speaking with God might make Gideon afraid (v. 22)?

How could Gideon survive “seeing God”? Since God is Spirit (John 4:24), no man has ever seen the Father in His essence. However, in Judges 6 (as in other Old Testament passages), He assumes a visible form (Gen. 32:24-30, Ex. 24:9-10, Isa. 6:1, Dan. 7:9). Some scholars believe references like this one to “the angel of the Lord” describe Jesus before He was clothed in human flesh.

  • God asks Gideon to tear down His father’s altar to Baal, the false god some Israelites worshipped at the time. How does Gideon approach his first assignment (Judg. 6:27)?

  • What does his neighbors’ reaction reveal about the hearts of the Israelites at this time (Judg. 6:30)?

  • What frightens you about fully obeying all God asks of you?

B. Exchanging our viewpoint for God’s perspective is essential to winning our battles.

  • From God’s perspective, who would deliver Israel (Judg. 6:8-10)?

  • On what did Gideon focus (Judg. 6:13)?

  • Contrast Gideon’s perception of himself with God’s view (Judg. 6:12, Judg. 6:15).

By refusing to help Gideon—who was God’s chosen deliverer—the leaders of Succoth and Penuel aligned themselves with the Midianites by default (Judg. 8).

  • What does Gideon’s threat to them reveal about how he viewed himself after victory over the Midianites (Judg. 8:5-9)?

  • Name a difficulty or challenge you face. Where do you tend to look for a solution in your own strength? How do you think God wants you to approach it?

C. The Lord is prepared to confirm His will.

  • Initially, Gideon doesn’t believe he’s really talking with God. What sign does Gideon prepare (Judg. 6:18-21)?

When several enemy armies assembled near Gideon’s home, he used a sheep’s fleece to ask God for a confirmation of Israel’s deliverance.

  • Why was his action unnecessary (Judg. 6:36-37)?

  • Why do you think Gideon was afraid the Lord’s anger would burn against him (Judg. 6:39)?

Although God was patient with Gideon, this method of determining His will is generally not the best. It can take our focus off of the Lord, placing it on a “sign,” which may or may not indicate God’s will accurately.

  • What finally convinced Gideon the Lord had given victory into the Israelite’s hands (Judg. 7:13-15)?

  • Describe how you know when God is leading you in a certain direction (Isa. 30:21, John 10:27).

D. When we obey God despite our weaknesses, He gets the glory. On his first assignment from God—tearing down the altar to Baal—Gideon acts at night, in fear.

  • Why did Gideon suddenly have the confidence to assemble an army and declare himself its head (Judg. 6:34)?

  • Why did God want to decrease the number of warriors (Judg. 7:2)?

  • Why do the two eliminations also make sense from a practical standpoint (Judg. 7:3-7)?

Gideon’s army attacked at night, around 10 p.m., right as the first watch was ending. The retiring guards had not yet returned to their tents and probably were mistaken for Israelites by the confused Midianties.

  • Why do you think the strategy of breaking the jars and blowing the trumpets was successful (Judg. 7:19)?

  • Why couldn’t Gideon take credit for what happened as a result of their surprise “attack” (Judg. 7:22)?

When the Israelites returned home after their victories, the men of Israel asked Gideon to rule over them (Judg. 8:22).

  • Why do you think Gideon responded as he did (Judg. 8:24)?

  • Gideon’s disobedience in making and worshipping the ephod could have been due to ignorance or the low moral standards at the time. What were the consequences (Judg. 8:24-27)?

  • Despite the ephod, what did God do for Israel as a result of Gideon’s victory (Judg. 8:28)?

Closing: What is God asking you to do? Be willing to obey, trusting that He will provide all you need. No matter what happens, your faithfulness will result in deep inner peace, which is the fruit of being right with the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who helps me accomplish Your will. Teach me to take my eyes off of my circumstances and the solutions the world offers—and instead look to You. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Related Topics:  Fear  |  Growth of a Believer

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What happens to my notes

1 Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years.

2 The power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.

3 For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them.

4 So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey.

5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to devastate it.

6 So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD.

20 But He said, You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!"

21 Then the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock;

22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.

22 and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.

24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.

26 Then he said, Let me go, for the dawn is breaking." But he said, I will not let you go unless you bless me."

27 So he said to him, What is your name?" And he said, Jacob."

28 He said, Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed."

29 Then Jacob asked him and said, Please tell me your name." But he said, Why is it that you ask my name?" And he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved."

9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel,

10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.

1 In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.

9 I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.

27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father's household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.

30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it."

8 that the LORD sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, `It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery.

9 I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land,

10 and I said to you, I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me."'"

13 Then Gideon said to him, O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, `Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian."

12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior."

15 He said to Him, O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house."

5 He said to the men of Succoth, Please give loaves of bread to the people who are following me, for they are weary, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian."

6 The leaders of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna already in your hands, that we should give bread to your army?"

7 Gideon said, All right, when the LORD has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will thrash your bodies with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers."

8 He went up from there to Penuel and spoke similarly to them; and the men of Penuel answered him just as the men of Succoth had answered.

9 So he spoke also to the men of Penuel, saying, When I return safely, I will tear down this tower."

18 Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You." And He said, I will remain until you return."

19 Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them.

20 The angel of God said to him, Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth." And he did so.

21 Then the angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight.

36 Then Gideon said to God, If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken,

37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken."

39 Then Gideon said to God, Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground."

13 When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat."

14 His friend replied, This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and all the camp into his hand."

15 When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, Arise, for the LORD has given the camp of Midian into your hands."

21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

2 The LORD said to Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, `My own power has delivered me.'

3 Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, `Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.'" So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.

4 Then the LORD said to Gideon, The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, `This one shall go with you,' he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, `This one shall not go with you,' he shall not go."

5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink."

6 Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water.

7 The LORD said to Gideon, I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home."

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands.

22 When they blew 300 trumpets, the LORD set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.

22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, Rule over us, both you and your son, also your son's son, for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian."

24 Yet Gideon said to them, I would request of you, that each of you give me an earring from his spoil." (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)

24 Yet Gideon said to them, I would request of you, that each of you give me an earring from his spoil." (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)

25 They said, We will surely give them. " So they spread out a garment, and every one of them threw an earring there from his spoil.

26 The weight of the gold earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescent ornaments and the pendants and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and besides the neck bands that were on their camels' necks.

27 Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household.

28 So Midian was subdued before the sons of Israel, and they did not lift up their heads anymore. And the land was undisturbed for forty years in the days of Gideon.

34 So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.

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