When we read Judges 6, Gideon doesn’t really look like a hero of faith. But when we take a closer look, there are so many lessons to be learnt from the life of Gideon.
The Israelites were being maltreated by the Midianites who were harvesting their crops. It was a time of fear and panic for the Israelites. As they lifted up their voices to God for help, an angel appeared to Gideon telling him that he can been chosen to fight their oppressors. Gideon’s family wasn’t popular. He seemed to be the least likely to be used on an assignment like this. God demonstrated what is written in 1 Corinthians 1:27;
Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
The angel that appeared to Gideon addressed him as a mighty hero. Gideon’s external factors didn’t show this. God sees us differently. Surely He knew Gideon was afraid. But He still saw something in him that Gideon couldn’t see himself.
How often do we see ourselves as Gideon. God sees beneath those flaws of ours. I personally find this encouraging.
God sees the best in us
Just like anyone of us would ask if surrounded by the situations Gideon was facing, he asked why this was happening. I find this very interesting because the story started off by saying;
The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. Judges 6:1.
The above was the answer to Gideon question. But it made me start thinking of the many times we think God is unfair. Could it be that we have failed to look at the man in the mirror? I’m not quite sure why Gideon wasn’t in the know. Maybe he knew but he felt the judgement was too harsh for the offense. I’m not sure.
Anyway God saw in Gideon what he didn’t see in himself. We need to pray that God will open our eyes for us to see who we really are. Some of us are wallowing in fear and self pity, praying to God to do something. But i feel God is saying this to us;
Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” Verse 14
It’s already in you. Stop praying for God to raise up a man in your family. He has raised you. Go with the strength you have. We don’t need more faith, more grace, more, more, more. Let’s start with the one God has given us. Until we make use of that, more won’t be added. Like He said to Moses, “what is that in your hand?”. The widow in 2 Kings 4 had to make us of the little oil she had. More wasn’t added until the faith of the little was activated.
I see Gideon saying “OK let me be sure this is really God because i don’t want to go fool myself out there”. So he asked for several signs to confirm what he was hearing. God is so merciful in that He meets us where we are. He knows how to deal with us individually. He understood Gideon’s framework and He met him on his level.
Gideon finally believed that God was the one speaking and the next thing was for God to show him how powerless the idol they relied on was. Gideon’s obedience in destroying their idol is a proof of his surrender to God. I’m sure he knew the consequences of this action if the children of Israel found out. He could have been killed as a result (Judges 6:30). He believed that his safety as in God’s hand. This was an act of faith. This action also made the children of Israelites see how useless their idol was.
With the idol off the way, the next lesson for Gideon to learn was that God doesn’t need a crowd to fight. In Chapter 7, God was teaching Gideon that He didn’t need numbers to win. Naturally it made sense to go into war with many soldiers. However the wisdom of God never makes sense to our carnal minds. God proved this by telling Gideon to reduce the number of soldiers from 32,000 to 300.
God doesn’t need numbers to win
Gideon and his army went on to win the battle with few soldiers. This i believe God did so He got all the glory.
We may be tempted to think the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 all started off as heroes but as we study, we can see that this was far from the truth. What i love about Gideon is a common trait i have noticed with all the people we have talked about so far. They obeyed. Obedience is very key in our faith walk.
Gideon was careful not to grow big headed with the victory he got from the battles he fought. In Judges 8:22-23, the Israelites asked Gideon to rule over them. But he replied “I will not rule over you, nor will my son. The Lord will rule over you!”. This is a sign of humility. This could be something in Gideon that God saw right from the beginning.
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 1 Peter 5:6
As a result of the above, today we celebrate him as a hero of faith. God surely rewards obedience.
So i have decided;
- Never to look down on me because God has put everything i need in me
- To ensure i return all the glory to God always
- Stay humble
I would like you know if this has ministered to you in anyway.
What are your decisions? Let me know in the comment section below.
I have created a separate category for this series on my blog. Please click on it to read about Rahab, Moses, Joseph, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham and Sarah, Noah, Enoch and Abel.
See you next time as we look at why Barak’s name is listed amongst the heros of faith in Hebrews 11.