Some Things I Learned from Gideon
When you think of Gideon, what comes to mind? Bibles? The Gideons International is a great organization that places the Word of God in hotels and freely gives them to prisoners, soldiers, nurses, students, and wherever the Lord opens a door. Maybe it’s a fleece? He’s probably best known for testing the Almighty to make sure He really would save the Jews from the Midianites through Gideon. First he asked God to make the fleece wet with dew and the ground dry overnight. Then he requested the opposite. The Lord did both.
As I read through Judges 6-8 this week in my quiet time, God taught me so many other things through this Old Testament judge. Here are some of them…
** God see us as we will be, not as we are. When the Almighty appears to Gideon He refers to him as a mighty man of valor (6:12). At the time, Gideon was beating wheat in a winepress to hide from the oppressing Midianites. The exact opposite of bravery! Jesus did the same with Peter. He called him the rock when the disciple was anything but (Matt 16:18). The same is true for us.
** When we share a problem with God, He may choose to use us to resolve it. In Judges 6:13 Gideon said, "Please, sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian." (ESV) The next thing God said to him was, “Go!” He often calls us to be a part of the solution to our questions or issues as well.
** Fear should never keep us from obeying the Lord. God asks Gideon to pull down the altar of Baal, a false god (Judges 6:25-27). This was his response: So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night. (Judg 6:27 ESV) He knew they’d find out who had done it, and there would be consequences, but the cover of darkness allowed him to overcome his apprehension. Like Gideon, we need to step out in faith and do what God calls us to no matter how scary it may seem.
** We can be humble even after a great victory. According to Judges 8:22, after Gideon led the Jews to miraculously defeat the Midianites, they ask him to be their leader. His response is recorded in Judges 8:23: "I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you." (ESV) Gideon became the judge who oversaw Israel at that time, yet he rightly acknowledged God was their King. We must always remember the Lord is the One Who gives us victory and never take credit for it. We should just be thankful He allows us to be a part of His work.
** Poor choices not only impact us, but can devastate those around us. After making the right and humble statement in 8:23, Gideon collected gold from each man’s spoils of war and made something that became an idol – not just to Gideon and his family, but to the entire Jewish nation. (Judg 8:27) One powerful deterrent to doing wrong can be knowing it can harm those we love the most.
God taught me lots more through Gideon. He can do the same for you so why not read his account again or for the first time (Judges 6-8)? The Old Testament narratives aren’t just stories, but snapshots of people’s lives that God wants to use to warn, challenge, equip, and transform us (I Cor 10:11). So dive in!!
Just something I’ll always love about the Scriptures along the way.