God Talks to Gideon—and Us
Another familiar character in the book of Judges is Gideon (with three chapters devoted to him). He is generally a fearful man who is cautious of God’s call, but who does fully obey God.
There are three initial things that God tells him (though an angel):
- “The Lord is with you mighty warrior!” Gideon’s response is to change the subject.
- “Go in the strength that you have and save Israel.” To this, Gideon in effect says, how? I am nobody!
- “I will be with you.” At this point, Gideon asks for proof that the words are really from God.
We can learn two key lessons from this exchange. First, God may see us differently then we see ourselves—and it’s unwise to question God’s perspective.
The second is that often we need to move forward to the extent that our abilities allow (we need to do our part) and God will be with us (making up for what we lack). This is an important balance to maintain. One error is to not do anything, even what we can do, because of the enormity of the task, while the other extreme is to try to do it all ourselves without God’s help. Instead, we need to do what we can and trust God to do the rest—just like Gideon.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.