Have you ever felt unprepared for something? Not because you knew something was coming up and you chose to procrastinate and were not fully prepared, but you just didn't feel like you were suitable for something that seemed to be thrown upon you. Many times in our life, the Lord will put us smack dab in the middle of something that we just know we aren't equipped, prepared, or ready to handle. These specific circumstances are never by our choice, but are God's choosing as to what He will either cause or allow to happen. It's then up to us how we will handle them. Will we trust God to equip us and direct us through these circumstances or will we choose to be overtaken by them?
Gideon had to make this decision. There had been peace and rest for Israel for forty years, but unfortunately, Israel turned away from God again and began living in wickedness. Because of this repeated disobedience, God handed them over to the Midianites for 7 years. Midian was so cruel to Israel, that they hid from the Midianites in mountains, caves and other strongholds. Midian, Amalek, and the other eastern countries would destroy any and all crops that Israel had or tried to plant. This left them in starvation and finally they began to cry out to God for help. God sent a prophet to them.
"The Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites. He said, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt. I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land. I told you, 'I am the Lord your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.' But you have not listened to me." ~ Judges 6: 9-10
To stay hidden from the Midianites, Gideon was hiding in a winepress, threshing wheat. It was there that the angel of the Lord met Gideon and called him to rescue Israel from the Midianites. Gideon couldn't believe it. He was shocked and began to argue, saying he was the least in his entire family and not at all prepared or equipped to do such a thing. He even asked God for a sign to prove that he could in fact do these things God was calling him to.
"The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, 'Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!' 'Sir,' Gideon replied, 'if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn't they say, 'The Lord brought us up out of Egypt'? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.' Then the Lord turned to him and said, 'Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!' "But Lord," Gideon replied, 'how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!' The Lord said to him, 'I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.' Gideon replied, 'If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me. Don't go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.' He answered, 'I will stay here until you return.' " ~ Judges 6: 12-18
Upon Gideon's return, the Lord graciously and patiently gave Gideon his sign. After Gideon laid the meal he had prepared on the rock and poured broth over it, the angel of the Lord tapped the rock with His staff and fire from the rock consumed all that Gideon had placed there. The angel disappeared and Gideon knew immediately that it was, indeed, God calling him to this great task. The Lord told Gideon to not fear and Gideon built an altar and named it "Yahweh-Shalom" (the Lord is peace).
Often, God calls us to something that we feel inadequate to accomplish. We argue with Him, forgetting that He is God. Remember, Sweet Sisters, when God is in control, we are made strong through our weaknesses. He will not call you to a purpose without equipping you to fulfill it. With God, all things are possible!
God began using Gideon right away to tear down the altars that Israel had built to serve false gods. Gideon was terrified, but he obeyed. God used this to allow Gideon to gain respect from the Israelites. (Judges 6: 25-32). The Midian, Amalek, and the other eastern armies formed an alliance against Israel, they crossed the Jordan River and camped at Jezreel. It was then that the Spirit of the Lord called Gideon to action.
"Then the Spirit of the Lord took possession of Gideon. He blew a ram's horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him. He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors. and all of them responded." Judges 6: 34-35
There is no denying when the Spirit of God comes over someone. Things happen. The proof is right here in Scripture. The Spirit came upon Gideon and immediately Gideon blew a ram's horn. Not only was Gideon used by the Spirit, but look at what happened. The men came to his call. To those who were sent his message, they ALL responded. When God takes over our Spirit, you have to follow His lead.
Chapter 6 ends with one of my favorite passages in the Bible: the fleece. This is my personality to a T. I am a "sign" person. I look for signs. At times, I take that a little overboard and think that everything is a sign from God, when sometimes it's just my imagination or my impatience wanting to hurry an answer along. When God called Gideon and all of his warriors together, Gideon's weak faith caused him to ask for assurance. He just had to be sure that this was God calling the shots and not just something coming from His own mind. God graciously answered his requests without reprimand.
"Then Gideon said to God, 'If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.' And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, 'Please don't be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.' So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew." Judges 6:36-40
Sometimes, we need to verify that God is leading us to do something, so we aren't trying to move ahead, outside of God's will. That's called wisdom. We shouldn't jump into something without seeking God's direction first. When you feel led to do something, stop and pray. Ask God if He is in it and ask Him to lead your next steps, on His time. If we want to accomplish great things for God's Kingdom, we must trust Him to lead us, carry us and fulfill it. And when God places you in the midst of something you aren't prepared for, remember: He is with you, He will never leave you, and He won't bring you to something that He doesn't plan to bring you through.
The rest of Gideon's story is amazing! If you haven't finished chapters 6-10, I encourage you to do so. Witness God's amazing triumph with only 300 warriors! I'm praying for each of you this week. May God lead you, direct you and equip you for all He has in store for you.
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. "
Hi! I'm Andrea, wife to my handsome hubby, homeschooling mama to my 5 amazing blessings (with one more on the way), and daughter of the King of kings. I am so glad you have stopped by my little piece of the web. My prayer is that the Lord will use this blog to encourage you in your personal, daily walk with Christ.