Ok, so who doesn’t love the story of Gideon? Why? Because he was so … well, so like us, so lame. Check it out, in Judges 6 we find the nation of Israel yet again in opposition to what God has called them to be, they “did what was evil in the sight of the LORD” (6:1). And so the cycle of Judges kicks back in, this time with the very polite, very careful, very comfortable Gideon. The angel of the LORD shows up on Gideon’s dad’s property, what’s Gideon doing? He’s being very careful to make sure he’s got some food to eat without the enemy Midianites knowing what he’s up to (beating out wheat in the winepress, huh? Isn’t that for wine, not wheat? – 6:11). He’s greeting by being called a man of valor (yeah right) and rather than that making him bold, it makes him polite, “Please sir (6:13) … please Lord (6:15)”. Then he uses stall tactics, let me “bring out my present and set it before you (6:18).” The meal is consumed by fire springing up from the heart of the rock as the LORD touches it with his staff (6:21). He gets that he has met with God now and bolstered with confidence (well, sort of) he goes by night to destroy the altars of the false gods because “he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day (6:27).” Of course in the morning everyone is upset and wants to know who did this thing … and well he hides behind dad (Joash) who tells the people to let the false gods defend themselves (6:30-31). Then of course it’s the infamous give-me-a-sign fleece episode. Wet fleece, dry ground … then dry fleece, wet ground. OK, God, I give!
Then, once God has thoroughly established a weak leader, He thins out the troops – all the fearful ones are told to go home and the ones who get on their faces to lap water like dogs are selected – to establish a weak army. Now, God has everything as He wants to put Himself on display, and the 300 men rout the Midianites, Amalekites, and all the people of the East who were “like locusts in abundance and their camels were without number, as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance (7:12).” Do you get it? A fearful, proof-needing, comfort-driven group was the victor in one of the greatest military engagements of all time! Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD. Let’s take our fears, our comfort, our need for proof, and like Gideon keep moving forward until God makes His name known throughout all Lake Country and beyond.
A Weak Warrior,