Mighty Warrior of God – What you have in Common with Gideon!
“The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor!” These were the words a scared young man from the weakest tribe of Israel heard from God!
The book of Judges
The story of Gideon can be found in the Old Testament book of Judges. Gideon was a young man who lived about 1100 years before the birth of Jesus. He was the son of Joash, of the tribe of Manasseh. He and his family made their home in Ephra. During this time, the 12 tribes of Israel were assigned to various territories throughout Canaan. While Joshua was alive, the tribes worked together as a nation. However, only 130 years later each tribe functioned individually, leaving them more vulnerable to attack. The Israelites had also turned to idols and were worshipping a false god, Baal.
Setting the scene
Throughout history, many people persecuted the people of Israel and for Gideon’s tribe, their oppressors were the Midianites. The Midianites were the descendants of Abraham and his concubine, Keturah, who had six sons after the death of Abraham’s wife, Sarah. The Midianites tormented Gideon’s tribe by attacking and stealing all their food just when it was ready for harvest. Gideon and his people were forced to hide in caves along the hillside. The Israelites cried out to God for help, and after seven years, God sent an angel to a young man named Gideon.
The angel of God greeted Gideon in a way that surprised Gideon. Why? Because the angel called him a mighty man of valor. Some translations say mighty hero, or mighty warrior. Not surprisingly, Gideon doubted the angel had the right man because Gideon often hid in fear from the Midianites. Gideon asked the angel why he and his people were being oppressed if God was truly with them. God answered Gideon by telling him to “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.” In his doubt, Gideon reminded God that Gideon’s clan was the weakest in Manasseh and that he, himself, was the weakest of his family. Gideon also asked God for several signs before realizing that God was truly in control, despite the outward circumstances.
What we have in common with Gideon
The biggest thing all have in common with Gideon is doubt. We doubt our abilities and we doubt we can be of much use to God. However, God sees us as he created us to be, not as we see ourselves. When we try to accomplish things totally in our own might, we will fail. However, when we see ourselves as God sees us, miracles can happen and lives can be changed. First, we must ask Him to be Lord in our lives and we must allow Him access to each and every area of our lives. Then we must be willing to let Him lead us even if we don’t understand God’s plan.
Sometimes, we also doubt that God is with us. Gideon thought that the Lord had forgotten all about him, his family, and his people. However, it was actually the people who had turned their back on God when they chose to worship Baal. We also need to turn from sin, and ask God to forgive us so that we can do the work God has for us to do.
Sometimes, God simply wants our trust. He wants us to remember His promises, not to dwell on our sad circumstances. God loves nothing more that a person who magnifies and worships God amidst their greatest challenges.
REMEMBER: God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called! Be willing to answer God’s call!
God wants to do amazing things through you! Don’t be afraid to answer the call! What are you willing to do today to answer God’s call?
READ JUDGES 6:1-18
1The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.
7 When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9 I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”
11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”