Summary: God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He sees the potential in people who trust Him. He is counting on you to do His work. His plan will surely succeed, no matter how big the challenge is.
We have just read about the suffering of the people of Israel at one time in their history.
• They were badly oppressed by the enemies around them. They were suffering because they have deserted God and worshipped idols.
• The people fled to the mountains and were hiding in caves and strongholds. They tried to provide for themselves by sowing seeds for harvest, but when the harvest came the enemies moved in and seized everything.
• They were too weak to defend themselves. It brought them to such a low point that they cried out to God in desperation. They realised their mistake and repented.
God heard their cry and responded with grace. He called an unknown man Gideon to save the nation.
• If we read on to chapter 7, we know that Gideon eventually won the fight against the enemies. He was successful.
• They were few in numbers, limited in resources and with little confidence, but God was on their side. With God’s intervention, they won the fight.
• This is a good reminder for us today – when you face a problem, remember, it is not about how big your problem is but how big God is; it is not about how powerful your enemy Satan is, but how mighty God is.
• Apostle John reminds us, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 Jn 4:4)
In Gideon’s experience, we see how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. There is strength in weakness, that is, God’s strength in human weakness.
• In order words, if we humble ourselves and trust God, He is able to do great things through us.
• Gideon is not a prophet, not a priest or a religious person. He does not belong to any royal family, the rich or the famous. He is just an ordinary farmer, but he is at the right place at the right time for God to use.
(1) GOD USES ORDINARY PEOPLE
God needed someone. He heard the prayers but He needed someone, and He found Gideon.
• God is doing the same in our generation. He looks at our situation, He hears the cries of the people, and He looks for someone.
• There is work to be done, and God wants to look for someone who is available and someone who can trust Him.
• You may be the person God finds, to be at the right place and at the right time. You may be the right person for a job – a work that God wants to do.
• God has placed us at different situations in life, with unique opportunities and privileges, and He expects us to respond to His call. If we trust Him and respond to Him and do what He says, we can be surprised to see what God can do.
• God can use ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
So the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (v.12)
(2) GOD SEES THE POTENTIAL IN A PERSON
From what we see here, Gideon was far from being a mighty warrior. He was hiding from the enemies. He was afraid. He has no confidence and saw himself as “the least in the family belonging to the weakest clan” (v.15) He was doubtful the situation can change. He needed God to prove to him a few times.
• But the angel called him, “mighty warrior”. He wasn’t looking at Gideon in his present state. He saw what he could become, with God’s help. He saw what Gideon could become, if he trusts God.
• God sees more than what you can see. We see the problem, He sees the solution. We see our weakness, God sees the victory. We see the impossibility, God sees the possibilities. We need to learn to “live by faith, not by sight” Paul says in 2 Cor 5:7.
Gideon could not see himself as the mighty warrior who would save Israel. Just like us today, many of us cannot see ourselves doing anything great for God.
• How do you see yourself? Sometimes, the image we have of ourselves is not only unhealthy, it is not biblical. Some see themselves as a ‘nobody’, almost close to being useless.
• We need to re-align our understanding with the truth of God’s Word.
• You are precious in God’s sight. The Bible says you are God’s child (Jn 1:12), you are a joint-heir with Christ (Rom 8:17), God’s friend (Jn 15:15), a saint (Eph 1:1), you are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do. (Eph 2:10) You are a citizen of heaven (Phil 3:20), and you belong to God (1 Cor 6:20).