This morning, I read the story of Gideon.
Perhaps you are familiar with it. Perhaps you have heard of him. Or perhaps like me, you knew something about him but maybe the Lord has something sweet for you to take away from it as He was so gracious to allow me to do this morning.
May I share with you? I found this in Judges 6:11-40.
"Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, "The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior." Then 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, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." The Lord looked at him and said,"Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?" He said to Him, "O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house."
But the Lord said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man."
So Gideon said to Him, "If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me."
"Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You." And He said, "I will remain until you return."
The passage goes on:
"When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the
Lord, he said, "Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face."
The Lord said to him, "Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die."
In verses 36-40 of chapter 6 we read of the sign of the fleece.
I had so many thoughts as I read these verses that I am afraid of even trying to write them as they will probably come out a little chaotic. But, I'll give it a shot.
First of all, you see Gideon going about the next thing in his day to day life. We are brought into his day as he is beating the wheat. I can't imagine that to be too exciting. Probably in haste as the Midianites would have targeted him if they had found him. That is probably why he was threshing in a wine press and not on the hill-for cover.
So, his life was interrupted with a visit from an angel of God. We're not sure which angel. But, in any case an angel came and sat under the tree AND called him valiant warrior. Can you imagine? As you are doing your daily task; looking up and seeing an angel (one that calls you valiant warrior) as you are ducking around threshing wheat in inconspicuous places. Then, being commanded to go and defeat your enemy. Sweet Gideon, often gets blasted in present day for his lack of faith, but I have to say, I can really relate to his unbelief at the situation. Isn't it precious that God didn't blast Gideon for his lack of faith by asking for a sign, but instead graciously worked not once, but twice to reassure Gideon? I am thankful that Jesus understands me for the sinful way that I am and loves me enough that when I question Him, He is gentle with me, but doesn't allow my questions to come in the way of His working. He loves me enough to allow times in my life that seem impossible or bleak to teach me what it means to sing at midnight. That doesn't mean I am happy with the trial, but it means learning to REJOICE in my salvation ALONE even if there was NOTHING else to rejoice in. He has blessed me so abundantly, but sometimes life isn't all happy days. There are the days when we feel like Gideon and we are so small, but then God comes along and says, "Valiant Warrior." And O how patient and tender He is-powerful and mighty yes, but He spoke to me in this with His great tenderness. Let me know how this passage speaks to you.