Lenses and God’s Working
I am always amazed at who God uses. “Who’d a thunk” God would choose Gideon? It was really simple: God was going to deliver Israel from some bad people. He chose Gideon. We’ve all heard of Gideon – powerful guy, right? Well….
Judges 6:15 – And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you…”
Okay, stop right there! Anytime the Lord says “I will be with you” it should be a slam dunk! But when you’ve been beat down as much as Gideon has, you don’t think so big any more! Here is why –
Judges 6:2-6 – “And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. 3 For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4 They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.”
In God’s style, He answers, and puts His plan into motion. But He uses Gideon. Gideon was tired of the Midianites. They were like the bully in the neighborhood. You will do everything in your power to avoid the bully. If you see them in the distance, you immediately go into stealth mode. Do not make waves! That is what Gideon was doing that day. He was so tired of the Midianites stealing their wheat after he had harvested it, that he did it in secret. Winepresses were dug out into the ground – kinda like a deep ditch – hard for people to see from ground level. The Bible says that “Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.” I do not sense a warrior’s spirit in him. I sense a “I’m tired of being beat down” spirit in him. So who does God use? Beat down ol’ Gideon!
Have you ever noticed that when God shows up, amazing things begin to happen? So God actually appears to Gideon, does some miraculous things, and then the plan begins. God wants to do an introductory assault on the bad guys. He tells Gideon – who is ALL ears at this point…
Judges 6: 25-27 – “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” 27 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.”
Did you catch that? His family had already given in! The altar to Baal – the false god – was THEIRS! Gideon was not only against the bad guys, he was against his own FAMILY! This is more than just a high school prank, this is an assault on the leadership of the enemy! (which needed to happen by the way!). So he pulls down the altar to Baal, and puts one to God in its place, and then leaves the dead bull on it! Now he has poked the bear! The people of the town were in arms. They find out it is Gideon who is behind it all, and a “hit” is issued for Gideon. Meek, little Gideon who was tired of being beat down. Wimpy kid. Napolean Dynamite. You get the picture. But something amazing happens. Remember God said He would be with Gideon? Those same exact words were also shared with other great heroes of the Bible, like Moses (Ex. 3:12), Joshua (Josh. 1:5, 9), and later on, David and Solomon (1 Kings 11:38). The bible says that suddenly, “…the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet…” much like in the Lord of the Rings when they light the torch summoning all of the other nations to help them in their fight against evil.
So, more than just a town lynch mob, entire nations are summoned against Gideon and – because Gideon represents Israel – against Israel. But a funny thing happens. Next thing you know, Gideon has 32,000 men with him ready to fight. No more “beat down!” But God, in His typical style, is going to really make us rely on faith instead of human might to do gain the victory. God tells Gideon he has too many men to fight. He sends 22,000 men home. Huh? Again, God says, “Giddy! still too many people!” So he sends home another 10,000 or so until all he has left is 300 men. But with 300 men, Gideon defeats – I mean, GOD defeats – the enemies.
God had to change Gideon’s lens – his beliefs in himself – before He could lead Gideon into action. God has made us with common sense. We are not going to do something we know for a fact is outside of our skill set. If we don’t believe we can do something, we will not even try. But, in our beliefs, God needs to become more common in our senses! Those who believe they can – are right. Those who believe they cannot – are also right! We do what we believe we can, with God.
Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
May the Spirit of God clothe you! Rise up in the Name of God! Be blessed this day!