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Gideon: Faith Finishes

Many start well. Few finish well.

Simply repeating the closing line brought immediate recognition for two decades at the end of the past century. His broadcast hit the public airwaves in 1976 and Paul Harvey became a household name. Major names or events would be masterfully highlighted in engaging dramatic fashion. Generally well-know facts were laid out in attention retaining ways. But the key to retaining the attention of the listener was the anticipated—the promise that some “aha” moment was about to come, some obscure fact of which most were totally unaware. Then, dropping the juicy bit of info at JUST the right time, you would hear Mr. Harvey say, “And now you know the REST of the story.”

Everyone knows that our man Gideon was but a frightened farmer grinding out a bare minimal existence. We all know that he was no leader, no upstart visionary, no rallying personality. It is common knowledge that even though he received his instructions from the very mouth of God, he still chose to fleece the Lord in confirmation—actually, fleece Him twice!

Who doesn’t remember that with the call to arms some 32,000 potential fighters rallied to the challenge? And even after the “scared” ones were released to return home, there were still 10,000 dudes ready for the fight. And how that rag-tag militia was further reduced to just 300 ready men through a simple hydration exercise on the river’s edge.

All recall that in the entirety of the Gideon band there was only one sword, and IT was in the hand of the Lord! “300 water pitchers”—Check! “300 lit torches”—Check! “300 trumpets”—Check! It is common knowledge that these select 300 soldiers were sent to their death over 120,000 armed and ready battle-proven warriors.

Forty years—four decades—of peace. An ordinary farmer called to an extraordinary task was God’s man to bring about an EXTRAORDINARY deliverance! But the very champion of their deliverance became the source of the downfall of that very people. Many start well. Few finish well.

In February of 2009, after 23 years of broadcast success, a fresh new voice brought those famous Paul Harvey stories to the airwaves. But after just three weeks, the radio program was permanently cancelled. “And now you know the REST of the story!”

See you Sunday, Church!
Pastor Tom