What if God came to you and sat down under a shade tree while you were working nearby? He did that with Gideon, who was busy threshing wheat. Gideon was working in a winepress, hiding so that the Midianite oppressors who had taken over the land of Israel would not see him and steal 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 that oppresses us, both 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 showed up to tell the people that, just as He did in Egypt, He would deliver them from the Midianites and give them a free and joyful life. But He wanted them to turn back to and faithfully honor Him, their Deliverer.
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 swarmed 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 do not.
Gideon had strong reservations about this heavenly assignment. We all have concerns when God puts us into a challenging position that only He can bring us through with success. We do not like situations beyond our control, ones where we must totally 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 of the land must have seemed impossible.
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 directly answer Gideon’s question. Instead, He will lead Gideon to be the miracle in the true power and deliverance that comes from honoring and obeying 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 whenever we 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 and His faithfulness. As we come to believe that God is truly 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 one of us to experience freedom and a joyful life in Him. As we turn to God in faith, we begin to experience just how deep His love and goodness is, and How He is extending magnificent grace and mercy to us for us to share with those around us. May we seek Him and the path He has prepared for us today, and to go, for He has sent us.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1 (NKJV)
Father God, we ask You to deliver us from whatever oppression we are facing, be it from something around us or from within ourselves. We lay it all before You, Lord. We believe You can handle anything we give to You and will make a way for us to experience true freedom. Help us to follow where You are sending us to be a blessing to others. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.