Snapshots: Day 143
The Snapshot: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judg 6:12) I love this! Unashamedly this is one of my most favourite verses in the Old Testament! Here is lowly Gideon, hiding away from the Midianite invaders, threshing his wheat, not on a rocky outcrop as he should have been doing, but in a wine press, hidden out of the way. And the angel of the Lord turns up and greets him: “Hi dude, mighty warrior,” At this point, if this was a film, we’d all be falling around the aisles laughing. Gideon is not amused. He objects to the theology, but this is God who sees potential, God who knows what He can do with us. Gideon, with God you’re going to do the stuff, you’re the next judge-deliverer! Next time someone gives you a mind-blowing prophetic word, remember that God knows what He’s about, He knows you!
Further Consideration: Gideon had a problem with being addressed in this manner because he looked at the circumstances, mis-interpreted them and did not understand either the Lord or himself. And that is exactly where so many of us are.
Let’s start with the circumstances. They were being oppressed by the enemy, the Midianites, and for that reason he felt the Lord could not have been with them. Moreover, he concluded that this situation was ongoing and so he didn’t try to do anything to change it.
But then there is the Lord. He didn’t realize that the Lord had not given up on them, He had just stood back to allow them to be disciplined by the enemy, but that wasn’t what He wanted to continue. It would only continue until Israel came to their senses – again – and called on Him – again – so that He could then step in and raise up a deliverer – again! Oh yes, the Lord was there, and the Lord was listening and watching and indeed stage two of the cycle had already occurred: “Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.” (Judg 6:6) so what is about to happen is stage 3 – the Lord raising up a deliverer, but Gideon doesn’t realize that yet.
So then we come to Gideon, addressed as a “mighty man of valor” (NKJV & ESV) or “mighty warrior” (NIV) or “mighty hero” (NLT). Gideon doesn’t exactly think this is a joke, but not far off from it. He doesn’t realize his own potential, especially his potential with God leading, empowering and directing – just like so many of us don’t!
So, to summarize, Gideon has opted to accept the status quo and from his position this doesn’t include God and as for himself, well he’s just the least in his small, insignificant family (v.15). Is that us? Do we need to refocus our vision to face the negatives of our world but see the Lord is there in the midst of them, calling us to stand alongside Him and engage with these negatives and change them with His enabling and direction?