CALLED BY GOD FOR EXPLOITS
“When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said,
“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
Gideon was a fearful, ordinary man who was anything but a warrior when God called him. He was threshing wheat in a winepress for fear that the Midianites would see him and take away the little food his family had.
Why Gideon was this way had its reasons. Bible says that the oppression of the Midianites, Amalekites, and other eastern people towards the Israelites was so severe that they impoverished them. The oppressors ruined the crops of the land and did not spare any living thing—not even the sheep, cattle, or donkeys. These evil armies were described as “swarms of locusts impossible to count” and that they “invaded the land to ravage it.” They oppressed Israel relentlessly for seven years.
To deliver Israel, God chose a man cowering in a winepress; a man who described himself as being the least in his family and of coming from the weakest clan of Manasseh.
Gideon certainly had a lot of excuses, but God knew what He was doing. He could see into the future, and He had no problems calling out an identity for Gideon that Gideon had yet to transform into: a Mighty Warrior. Here, we find a world of wisdom: God sees in us what we still cannot see.
The first thing God does to an ordinary man to transform him into a man of great exploits is to call out his true identity. For Gideon, God called him a “Mighty Warrior” even while Gideon was still a coward. God wanted to unleash Gideon to do battle in His name, but Gideon first had to come to terms with his own identity. Could He embrace what God thought of him as opposed to what he thought of himself?
A second very important point is made. Aside from declaring Gideon’s true identity, God tells Gideon that He was sending him. “Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14) God repeats the reality of His presence when He tells Gideon “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” (v.16 ESV)
When it comes to rising in faith for the exploits that God wants us to do, we must remember a very important truth: God’s presence is with us. In ourselves, we really cannot do anything, but when God says “Go! I am with you!” then rest assured, we have everything we need to accomplish our task. Also, we are not alone. We do our task with God Himself! One person with God is equivalent to one person with Heaven’s army and Heaven’s resources. Our feeble humanity pales in the light of the power of an Omnipotent God who already has decreed victory for us.
We may be like Gideon, fearful and with a million excuses. However, when God calls us, we can be assured that He sees in us a person made capable by Him for our assignments in life. Also, He is with us. We therefore can rise in faith and be mighty warriors for His kingdom.