Tuesday 18 August 2009

Bible Book:

"He responded, 'But sir, how can I deliver Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family'." (v.15)

Judges 6:11-24 Tuesday 18 August 2009


Gideon seems sure that God must have made a mistake in askinghim to deliver Israel from the Midianites. He was full of excusesand reasons why God should move on and ask someone else, someonemore important, Well, anyone really as long as it was nothim.

It took a lot of persuading before Gideon would respond fully tothe call to save Israel - maybe that was payback for the sarcasticway the Angel called him a "mighty warrior" when he was hiding downa wine press threshing wheat. That was about as effective as tryingto open a tin of baked beans with a biro and as brave as doingkaraoke in your own bathroom with the shower on full, the houseempty and all the doors and windows locked.

When I was young, there were two sets of stories I heard aboutGideon. First was the way he tested God (verses17-21 and verses36-40 with the wet and dry fleece). Second were thestories of Gideon's victories. I particularly liked the one inchapter 7 using just a few men, clay pots, torches and trumpets toscare the enemy camp.

But if the focus is only on those stories then the upside down wayGod works is missed. That goes back to the surprise in verse 15.God does not use the expected people: those in power, those who areimportant, those who are brave, to deliver Israel. Instead, Godchooses a cowardly nobody.

When I felt the call to ministry I found verse 15 comforting,disturbing and scary, all at the same time:

  • Comforting that God could use even me
  • Disturbing if it meant I was in fact a cowardly nobody (as thatwas not the self-image I wanted)
  • Scary if there was no escape from God's call

Fortunately for me, over time God changed me into someonewho delights in that call.


To Ponder

Reflect on how the way God sees you differs fromthe way you and the world see you.

If God called even Gideon to deliver Israel, thenwhat might God be calling you to?

How is God wanting to change you for what you arecalled to?

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