“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon…” Hebrews 11:32
The story of Gideon begins with Gideon’s LACK OF FAITH in the Lord.
Setting the stage here, the children of Israel had done evil in the sight of the Lord (yet again - what else is new?) and were under their enemy Midian’s rule for seven years until they finally cried out to the Lord to save them.
Enter scene: Gideon.
Judges 6:12-18 “And the Angel of the Lord appeared to [Gideon] and said to him, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.”
GIDEON QUESTIONS GOD THE FIRST TIME
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 the Lord not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.”
And the Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”
GIDEON QUESTIONS GOD A SECOND TIME
But he said to Him, “O Lord, how am I to save Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my fathers house.”
Yet the Lord said to him, “I will certainly be with you, and you will defeat Midian as one man.”
GIDEON QUESTIONS GOD A THIRD TIME
“So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then perform for me a sign that it is You speaking with me.”
Gideon questions the Lord many times.
He questions God’s sovereignty. He uses his family's status and his own age as excuses.
And after all of his whining, the Lord assures Gideon that He is with him.
Gideon still doubts and then asks for a sign, for proof that it IS the Lord actually speaking to him. And the Lord patiently proves Himself, erasing all doubts that He is GOD.
Finally, after all the questioning and whining and excuses, Gideon realizes he is in the presence of the Lord, so he builds an altar to the Lord and worships. (v22-24)
I wish we could just stop there and say that Gideon learned his lesson...but there’s more to this story.
THAT SAME NIGHT, after having communed with Lord, after building an altar and worshipping Him, Gideon is asked to tear down the Baal idols and raise up an altar to the Lord.
You would think that after hearing from God and seeing proof that the Lord was with him, Gideon would go forward with faith and courage. But Gideon limits God with his fears, worries, and doubts.
Gideon obeys BUT only under the cover of night.
“Because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night.” (v27)
Gideon only went when it was most convenient for HIM.
This man, with so little trust in the Lord (who had been deemed a mighty man of valor, mind you) is found out anyway by the townspeople and ready to be hanged until his dad steps in and prevents Gideon’s death.
WAY TO GO GIDEON! Your plan of stealth REALLY worked! (can you sense the sarcasm here?)
(v34) “But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. [Along with a whole bunch of others.]”
Gideon messed up. He let fear overtake him and tried to “fix the problem.” You’d think after all of his whining, doubting and fear, that the Lord would wipe His hands clean of him.
But it says, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon”...anyway.
It was not because of Gideon’s confidence in himself that the Spirit came upon him. It was NOT because of his full and perfect faith, either.
Sometimes we think, ‘if I just had MORE faith, THEN God could use me.’ Almost as if God uses us by our own choice, our own ability. That we’re like batteries and, once we’re fully charged, then God can use us.
God can do WHATEVER He wants, WHENEVER it pleases Him to do so. He is NOT restricted by our low storage of faith.
Look at Gideon, man of...trusting the Lord when it was most convenient.
YET...YET! DESPITE Gideon, the Lord STILL sent His Spirit upon him.
Not because of who Gideon was, but because of WHO GOD IS!
He chooses to look beyond our weaknesses, past our doubts and fears, to bring forth HIS plan.
Just because you may be in a low time of your life, does NOT mean you cannot still be used by God in the RIGHT NOW.
It is not by your level of faith to be used by God, but God’s level of power; which knows NO BOUNDS!
So be encouraged! The Lord can and will use you today. Keep your eyes on HIM. And choose to glorify and worship Him throughout.
Because it is not by the measure of how spiritual YOU ARE, but by the measure of God’s love for YOU.
Don’t get me wrong, we need to DAILY ask for an increase of faith, but don’t think - during those times of feeling defeat - that the Lord can’t use you. Instead, get up from the valley of despair and allow God to work HIS wonders THROUGH you.
Yes, faith is necessary. It is needed in our walk with God. But don’t let down-days fool you into not being able to be used by God. God can use us DESPITE our whining. DESPITE our fears. DESPITE our selves.
DESPITE OUR LACK OF FAITH.
Because HE is FAITHFUL.
~ Kissy Black