Judges - chapter 6-8

Matt Summerfield
Matt Summerfield

The Bible is full of so many stories of men and women who got involved in some wild and crazy God-exploits. One of my favourite characters in the Bible is Gideon. His story is told in the book of Judges - chapter 6-8.

The book of Judges presents the Israelite nation in a recurring cycle of rebellion against God, oppression from other nations, repentance to God, and God freeing them from their oppressors by working through men and women Judges - before they once again end up rebelling against God..and so the cycle continues.

The story of Gideon is no exception. Gideon is living at a time when the Israelites are being massively oppressed by the Midianties. It's a time of great fear and intimidation.

If you ever went to Sunday School you may well remember being told the story of Gideon's amazing God-given victory against the Midianites - where God whittles down Gideon's army from 32,000 men to just 300, to fight an army too numerous to count. It's a true miracle when team Gideon end up the victors!!!

But for me the most amazing part of Gideon's story is the first time he has his own personal God-encounter. The story is told in Judges 6:11-16.

Gideon is trying to hide grain from the Midianites when we're told that the angel of the Lord suddenly appears saying to Gideon.

'Mighty hero, the Lord is with you'.

Gideon is not convinced. His response to the angel is essentially "I think you've been away from planet Earth a little while. You obviously don't know what is happening. We are oppressed, we are abandoned, there are no miracles, we are on the verge of complete annihilation - God is nowhere to be found."

And then God breaks into the conversation, ignoring what Gideon has just said and commands Gideon to "go with the strength he has and defeat the vast Midianite army'.

But Gideon is pretty clear in his response to God - "God, you've picked the wrong guy - we're the weakest family on the block, we're nobody's. And God, I'm the biggest nobody of them all. "

In fact, the Hebrew word that Gideon uses to describe himself is 'insignificant'. That's what he thought of himself. Insignificant. That he would never amount to much and would certainly never be called upon by the Creator of the universe to do great exploits!

But friends, God sees things differently. When God looks at Gideon, he doesn't have rose-tinted glasses on. He's fully aware of Gideon's weakness and struggles and his status. But God looks beyond all of that and sees what Gideon will become, both now and in the future. God sees his potential. God sees who he created Gideon to be. A somebody, a hero, a person of great significance.

That's the real amazing thing in Gideon's story - the real miracle. That the Creator of the universe calls broken people who often feel insignificant and invites them to join his great adventure - to discover that self-worth, significance and security is only truly found in being in relationship with Him and living out His great plans and purposes.

So the next time you think that you won't amount to much in life then my prayer is that a voice will stir within you...if you listen carefully you may just hear:

'Mighty hero, the Lord is with you'. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.