Summary: Gideon answered the call of God and learnt to overcome discouragement, doubt and obstacles to accomplish the purpose of God.
What does it take to do the work God has called us to do and finish it?
Take a look at Gideon. He was called by God for a special purpose at a special time.
• God heard the cries of the people, and He wanted to save them from their enemies. He needs a man to do the job.
• Gideon needs to overcome a few things before he can do the job.
First, we need to overcome discouragement.
• How do we know he was discouraged? He was threshing wheat in an old winepress, hiding from the enemies.
• The people of Israel were oppressed. They were starving because the Midianites kept destroying their cattle and crops.
• Gideon has given up hope in God; the people have been suffering for 7 years now, in very difficult circumstances.
• He was too weak to do anything, being the least in his family, and his clan being the weakest in the tribe (Manasseh).
He was depressed. But the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior’” (Judges 6:12).
• I believe he was tempted to laugh out loud.
• Why ‘Mighty warrior’? He was a scared young man hiding out in a wine press.
• But then, God always sees us in a different light than we see ourselves.
• We see our inadequacies and failures, and use them as an excuse. God sees our potential and what we can do through Him.
• The Lord once said to prophet Zechariah, “Don’t despise the day of small things.” (Zech 4:10)
Gideon’s discouragement comes pouring out.
• He says to the Lord’s messenger, “But sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian” (Judges 6:13).
• The angel does not argue with him, but says, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
• God promises to be with him, as He does with us.
Gideon was filled with thoughts about his own inadequacy.
• He says, “But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The Lord simply answered, “I will be with you” (Judges 6:14-16).
• People are discouraged today because they look at themselves and their situation.
• We tend to look at our inadequacies.
• The answer to it is to know that God is with you and His presence makes up for your inadequacies.
You don’t have to do it in your own power, or by your own ability. God knows that too.
• But you can do it with Him. The Lord answered him, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”
• Prophet Isaiah says (in Isa 40:29-31), “God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
But Gideon was not sure about this, even though the angel of the Lord was standing right in front of him.
• Who says when a man sees a miracle, he will believe God? Even with an angel standing before him, Gideon finds it hard to trust God.
• We, like Gideon, not only have to overcome discouragement, we have to overcome doubt.
Gideon says to the angel of the Lord who is standing right in front of him: “Give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.” Read verses 17-22.
• So Gideon prepared an offering to the Lord, and as a sign, the angel of the Lord touched the offering with his staff, and fire flamed from the rock and consumed the offering. And the angel disappeared from his sight.
• Wow, that should have been good enough for anybody. But it still was not good enough for Gideon.
Later on, he asked God for another sign.
• When the Midianites encamped against Israel, Gideon gathered the men from all the towns of Israel to come and protect the land.
• Judges 6:36-38 “Gideon said to God, ‘If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised — look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.’ And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew — a bowlful of water”