Today, we’ll continue in our study on the life of Gideon.
God blessed His chosen people by giving them the land of Israel, but they often rebelled and disobeyed His commands. Throughout Scripture, we see God discipline His children out of a desire to see them repent and turn back to Him.
In the case of Judges 6, God used the Midianites as the “rod of affliction” that motivated Israel to cry out for His mercy, forgiveness, and deliverance.
This story reveals to us a trend in the way our God moves His people by using a man, not a committee. I don’t remember ever seeing a statue of a committee, but there are statues of individual men and women who are “heroes of the faith”. God works through the people He calls as they trust in Him.
In today’s story from Judges 6, God’s man was Gideon. Look how God, the “angel of the Lord”, approaches Gideon.
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” —Judges 6:12
As the story goes, Gideon, just like us, missed what God said in that moment. He heard God’s words, but insecurity led him to depersonalize God’s statement. Instead, Gideon responded with, “… if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?”
God didn’t say He was with “us,” as in the people of Israel. He said He was with Gideon.
In verse 13, Gideon tries to discuss the situation with the Lord, but God pays no attention to Gideon’s desire to discuss theology. He spoke to Gideon again.
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?” —Judges 6:14
God is on one track, and Gideon is on another. In this, I believe God is saying to him, “You are my man, but it’s not really about you. It’s about My presence and power.”
Why do we always think that God is after our talents and abilities and strength? Does He really need us to get His work done? No!
God is about our weaknesses, inadequacies, and insecurities because when His power flows through our weaknesses, He gets the glory.
God chose Gideon because his weakness would give God the greater glory. It is through our weaknesses that people get to see a demonstration of God’s power and strength. But we have to accept His agenda.
Paul nails this in 2 Corinthians 12. Paul wanted God to do something that he thought would make him more effective and strengthen his ministry. Paul prayed three times, and God said “no” to his request but “yes” to His grace and presence released in and through Paul’s weakness.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. —2 Corinthians 12:9
Remember, God said “no” because it wasn’t about Paul. God said, “I don’t look at your strength, I look at your weakness clothed in My strength.” Paul gets it and responds, “Therefore I will glory in my weakness that God’s power may rest upon me.”
How do you respond in your weaknesses?
When God chooses you, know that it is because He wants His strength to be shown in and through you, especially in your weaknesses.
Gideon was still not convinced of this, but we’ll look at that more next week.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.