What if God came to you and sat down under a shade tree while you were working nearby? He did that to Gideon, who was busy threshing wheat. Gideon was working in a winepress, hiding so that Midianite oppressors who had taken over the land of Israel would not see him and steal or destroy his wheat. But God always sees us and loves us, whatever our situation. He wants to come into our lives to save us from all oppression, be it internal or external.
The Angel of the Lord came to Gideon to assign him a heavenly mission. In response to the cries of Israel, God had sent a prophet to tell the people that, just as He did in Egypt, He will deliver them from the Midianites and give them freedom and a joyful life. But He also wanted them to turn back to Him and to obey Him.
God came to Gideon to tell him he had been the one chosen to free Israel from the shackles of Midian. This came as a shock to him, as Gideon had great fear of the Midianites, who took over the land like consuming locusts.
12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him (Gideon), and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Judges 6:11-12 NKJV
Probably the last thing in the world that Gideon felt like at that moment was a “mighty man of valor”. But God sees the potential in us, even when we or others do not.
Gideon had reservations about this assignment. We all have concerns when God puts us in a challenging position that only He can overcome. We do not like situations beyond our control, ones where we must rely on Him rather than on our own skills and devices to succeed.
To this point, Gideon’s only survival skill against the Midianites had been hiding from them. The concept of him leading Israel as a judge to drive Midian out from the land must have been the furthest thing from his mind.
13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about?” Judges 6:13 NKJV
God does not answer Gideon’s question. Instead, He will lead Gideon to the right answer, that true power and deliverance comes as we honor and obey the Lord in faith.
14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” Judges 6:14 NKJV
When God says, “Have I not sent you?”, Gideon begins to realize who is actually talking to him – God Himself. The Creator of the Universe is sitting right beside him. This must have been an awe-inspiring moment, as it is for each of us when we first sense the presence of God in our lives.
God has the power to overcome any enemy, and He will never let us down if we follow His lead. The challenge for us is to have a seed of faith, one that He will water and will grow in our hearts into a true belief in Him. As we come to believe that God is leading the way in our lives, great things lie ahead for us as we follow Him.
Like Israel under the leadership of Gideon, God wants each of us to experience freedom and a joyful life. As we turn to God in faith, we begin to learn just how deep is the love and goodness that He is extending to us.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1 NKJV
God will deliver us from whatever oppression we face. Whether it be from those around us or from something we face within ourselves, let us lay it all before the Lord. He can and will handle anything that we give to Him, and will make a way for us to experience His true freedom.
Is anything too hard for the Lord? Genesis 18:14 NKJV