Summary: We have to see with eyes of faith and believe that by His strength we can do great things for Him.
For 7 years a cruel enemy, the Midianites, oppressed the Israelites, causing many to flee to the mountains where they made hiding places for themselves in caves and dens. The Midianites come like swarms of locusts (v.5) and when they attack, they destroy the crops and took away the flocks. Israelites were left with nothing to eat. In their suffering, they cried out to God for help.
Is God going to help? Yes. God is gracious. These people were suffering because they have sinned against Him - they worshipped idols - gods of the Amorites (v.10). Now they are crying out to Him and God will act.
He is going to send Gideon to rescue the people. An angel was sent to this man. He was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites (v.11).
6:12 Angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon: "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."
Amazing how the Lord calls him. Everyone living in fear and yet God calls him - mighty warrior.
- How can he be a mighty warrior, when he was hiding from the Midianites?
- Gideon himself felt he is very small - v. 15 "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
Why did the Lord call him mighty warrior? What strength does he have?
Is Gideon really strong and courageous? No. In fact, he has a hard time believing what God has said. He kept asking God for a sign to prove that is it true.
Then why was he considered mighty? God knew Gideon will be successful - and will accomplish His plan - not because Gideon is strong by himself - but He will help him succeed.
- The first words the angel said were, "The Lord is with you."
- 6:16 The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together (as one man)."
- 6:34 "Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon..."
We read in Chapter 7 that Gideon went to fight the Midianites. At first, he has 32,000 men with him. Judg 7:2 The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for Me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against Me that her own strength has saved her..."
God asked him to reduce the numbers, all the way to only 300 men. And how big is their enemy?
Judg 7:12 The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.
300 against a swarm of locusts... And they won, because God fight for them.
We learn something here - how God sees and how we see -they are very different.
God sees a mighty warrior. Gideon sees himself the smallest one, in the weakest clan.
God says "You will defeat them as one man."(v.16). Gideon says, "How can I save Israel?"
DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF - DO EVERYTHING THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES US STRENGTH
Do you know how God sees you today? How do you see yourself? Are we like Gideon - living in defeat, with fears, without the courage to face the problems?
Do we see ourselves very small and very weak?
Gideon felt that way, because his eyes were on himself and not on God. The Lord’s answer to Gideon was - it’s not about you, it’s about Me. "I will be with you..." The question is not ’How strong you are?’ but ’How strong I am?"