Hebrews 11:32, Judges 6:7 – 7:25
Today we get to look into Gideon’s story. His story is interesting because as one reads it, it does not seem to be packed with faith. I could spend a long time on his story, but to keep with our theme in Hebrews, we are going to do a quick overview. Gideon asked God for many signs (fleeces) to prove that God was really going to do what He said. It doesn’t seem like something a hero of faith would ask of God, but for me it makes me think of the father in Mark 9:24 who exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Perhaps Gideon asking for signs was just what he needed to build his faith.
Looking in Judges, we can see why Gideon may have had a struggle to believe that God would be calling him a mighty warrior (Judges 6:12). Look at Gideon’s response in verse 15, “’But Lord,’ Gideon asked, ‘how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’” You see, Gideon viewed himself as the least of the least. Isn’t that just like God to call the least likely person to do His work? I also want to point out a significant part of Gideon’s question. Every time God is speaking to Gideon we once again see the word LORD in all capital letters. That means the writer acknowledged that it was Yahweh talking to Gideon, but Gideon calls him Lord. The note in my Bible says it is the equivalent to him saying sir. So we could interpret his statement to say, “But sir…” He then asks God for a sign so that he can believe that it is really God that he is talking to. This may make us chuckle, but I can honestly say that I have sometimes questioned if I was going crazy or truly hearing God when He said something that seemed foreign to me. God did not get angry with Gideon’s request; in fact, He seemed as if He understood Gideon’s need for proof.
We read at the end of chapter 6, Gideon asks for signs again. It was probably hard for him to believe that God would really use the least of the least. In chapter 7 we see God walking Gideon through a couple of exercises to pare down his army. God wanted to make sure everyone knew that it was God’s hand that was going to deliver them from the Midianites. Then God does something for Gideon that I find absolutely touching, He gives Gideon a sign to encourage him to complete the task. God knew Gideon’s heart so much that He told him to go into the camp of the Midianites and listen to what the soldiers were saying. It worked! Gideon felt empowered and was ready to complete the job God had given him.
Sometimes we need God to help show us how He could possibly use us. If you are anything like me, you see all the weaknesses and faults that would not allow you to do God’s work. It is when we hold His hand and let Him walk us through the tasks put before us we can build our faith in Him. You see, when we can acknowledge that we can’t do it but God can, we become poised to be used by God. It is through our weaknesses that He can shine. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” So, Gideon may have needed some signs from God, because he didn’t feel like a “mighty warrior,” but he also believed that God’s power could be perfect in his own weaknesses.
Has God given you a job for which you feel inadequate? Get ready for a great adventure because you are about to see God’s power made perfect!