Summary: God has called you to serve Him, yes You. No excuses; just obey Him in faith. Only those who answer the call of God will see the victory.
Who Me? You have Got to be Kidding God!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010-01-20
By Pastor James May
How many of you love to fly? I know that some of you probably wouldn’t fly unless it was a life or death emergency. A lot of people have a fear of flying. If you’re one of them you would surely agree with George S. Kaufman who once said, "I like terra firma - the more firma, the less terra."
One of the greatest science-fiction writers of our time is Ray Bradbury of Los Angeles. In 1968 he won a top award from the Aviation-Space Writers Association for a Life Magazine article that he wrote concerning the wonders of space exploration. But Mr.Bradbury didn’t attend the awards meeting in Florida because he was afraid to fly.
The subject of our message tonight also had a great fear that stalked him day and night. In fact, when we first see him in the scriptures, he is hiding out in a secret place where no one could find him and he was threshing wheat. Yet this poor, pathetic, pitiful little man, who considered himself as insignificant and weak, became one of the most famous Judges of Israel at a time when there was no clear leader of the Jews.
Fifteen Judges arose in Israel during this time in their history. Their names are forever recorded in the Word of God. One of those was Samson, a man whose strength was legendary, and whose very name made his enemies shake in their boots. But it was not so for the little man we are talking about tonight.
I don’t know how many of you remember Don Knotts? He is famous for his roles as the bumbling sheriff’s deputy, Barney Fire, who was only allowed to carry one bullet and it wasn’t in his pistol. He also starred in “The Reluctant Astronaut”, “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken”, and “The Shakiest Gun in the West”. In all of his films he seemed so aggressive and yet he was a chicken at heart.
I think our character for tonight is a lot like the characters that Don Knotts played. This guy brings to your mind the picture of a little weasel of a man, reluctant to even being noticed, and easily frightened. The amazing thing is that God saw something in him that no one else could see, not even the man himself.
Judges 6:11 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
Some say that the angel of the Lord was actually God himself who came down and sat under that oak tree for a length of time just watching and listening to what Gideon was doing and saying down in that winepress.
I wonder what Gideon might have been saying as the angel of the Lord sat there under that oak? Could it be that he prayed as he worked, begging God to send a deliverer to his people to free them from the terror of the Midianites? Could it be that he cried for the condition of his people and felt so powerless to do anything about it? In effect, you could say that Gideon was most likely engaged in intercessory prayer on behalf of Israel as he threw each rake of wheat in the air and prayed that God would smite the Midianites just as he was striking the grain with his staff to separate the wheat from chaff. Maybe he was singing a little song of praise, or thanking God for the little bit of wheat that he had been able to conceal from the searching eyes of the Midianites who would certain have taken it if they could.
There was something about this little man, hiding from his enemies and working as a common laborer that caught the attention of Almighty God. Was it his faith? Was it his courage? Was it his stature? Was it his ability to influence people? I doubt if he had much education, if any at all. I doubt that Gideon had much going for him in leadership skills. Yet there was something about him that God approved of.
Judges 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
I can just imagine Gideon’s reaction to this appearance of the angel of the Lord. Perhaps he did like we do sometimes and he turned around to see if someone was standing behind him that the angel was speaking to.
Who, Me, “a mighty man of valor”? You have got to be kidding. You must have me confused with someone else. But, then it dawned on Gideon just who he was speaking to and his whole thought process started over. Yes, this was the angel of the Lord speaking. Here he was, the very presence of God, the Living Word, speaking to Gideon.