Gideon son of Joash had been threshing wheat at the bottom of the winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.
The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you.” (Judges 6:11)
I don’t know about you but if I saw someone hiding, I might think of a few words, but mighty or hero wouldn’t make the cut.
The Israelites decided that after all God had done for them, they wanted to do their own thing. They knew better than He did. So, God said, “Fine. Do you thing.” And, He allowed the Midianites to conquer the Israelites.
The Bible says the Midianites were so cruel, they sent the Isrealites running and hiding in caves. When the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites would destroy them. And, they stole all their sheep, oxen, and donkeys. They left the Israelites to starve.
But, even though the Israelites had disobeyed, as soon as they cried out to God, He chose someone to deliver them. He chose the guy hiding in the dark. He chose the guy who wasn’t strong enough to confront the Midianites on his own. He chose the guy with low self-esteem and self-worth.
He chose Gideon.
When God told Gideon that he would be the one to drive out the Midianites, Gideon replied,
“But Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” (Judges 6:15)
Of all the people to choose, God chose the one from the weakest tribe. Not only that, He chose the weakest guy from the weakest tribe. Does it get any weaker than that???
He chose the one from the uneducated family. He chose the one who had experienced failure. He chose the one no one would ask to lead them. He chose the one who no one said would ever amount to anything. He chose the one who grew up poor. He chose the one without a degree. He chose the one who was ashamed of some things in her past. He chose the one who didn’t think highly of herself.
And, He called Gideon, not by his current position, but by his God-given identity.
Mighty Man of Fearless Courage
Who was the weakest of the bunch…
Hiding in the dark…
From the weakest clan…
What would you do if you overheard someone call your friend, the one who keeps making the same mistake over and over again, a wise woman of God.
Would you burst out laughing? Smirk?
I imagine Gideon’s family might wonder if the angel made a mistake. HIM? WARRIOR? (insert laughter, some mocking, a little disrespect)
But, God knew He would choose Gideon before He formed him in his mother’s womb.
You see, God knows who He created us to be and what He created us for. Even when we’re off track, that doesn’t discount who we were created to be. Even when we’re acting a fool, He calls us wise. Even when we’re sleeping with this guy and that guy, He calls us saints. Even when we’re afraid, He calls us triumphant.
When Gideon said, in so many words, “Are you SURE you want to pick ME, God? The weakest of the weakest?”
God replied, “I will be with you. And, you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”
Although I’ve heard the story of Gideon a million times, it always amazes me at who God chooses.
1 Corinthians 1:28-31 says:
28 And God chose what the world thinks is not important—what the world hates and thinks is nothing. He chose these to destroy what the world thinks is important. 29 God did this so that no one can stand before him and boast about anything. 30 It is God who has made you part of Christ Jesus. And Christ has become for us wisdom from God. He is the reason we are right with God and pure enough to be in his presence. Christ is the one who set us free from sin. 31 So, as the Scriptures say, “Whoever boasts should boast only about the Lord.”
He doesn’t judge us the way we judge us.
He doesn’t judge us the way others judge us.
If you read more of the story, you’ll see that God has is truly a comedian. Not only did he ask the weakest of the weakest to lead the Israelites against the Midianites, He took his army from 32,000 to 300! THREE HUNDRED! Clearly, He wanted the Israelites and their momma to go into this battle knowing that they were outnumbered and nothing compared to the Midianites, but everything with Him on their side! He wanted them to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were only victorious because of HIM.
God isn’t interested in all of our accomplishments or failures. When God is looking for someone to worship Him, whether or not they have a degree means NOTHING. In fact, He tends to use people who aren’t all that confident in themselves. All He wants to know is…
Do we trust Him?
Are we willing to take a step when He says GO, not knowing what lies before us?
Will you go even when we’re afraid?
Will you do what He created you to do even when you feel under-qualified?
The story of Gideon never gets old.
I wanted to share it with you today because I know that you can be hard on yourself. Sometimes you feel like you’re not enough, you haven’t achieved enough, you’re not smart enough. You’ve made a million mistakes. You’ve failed more times than you would’ve liked. You’ve burned some bridges. And, you aren’t sure if you can redeem yourself. Or, even if you feel like you’re ready, what will your friends and family think of you? Afterall, they know the old you, the you you’d rather erase.
Let me tell you something, your past is God’s glory!
That’s the reason He chose you! You were the unlikely one! You were the least of those! When you WIN, not only will YOU know, but EVERYONE will know that it was nobody but God. N-O-B-O-D-Y.
So, whenever you’re feeling low, open up your Bibles to Judges 6 and read about Gideon. He was most certainly the underdog that came out VICTORIOUS.
You can, too!
You will, too!
With Love & Hope & Victory,