Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gleaning from Gideon

I must admit, I'm behind on my bible reading. I'm supposed to be through 2 Samuel and ready to start 1 Kings, but I'm in the middle of Judges. I've never read through the whole book of Judges (ashamedly I've never read through the whole bible-but that's my goal this year) and I find the book of Judges very fascinating. I recently was reading about Gideon and how God used him to free the people of Israel from the Midianites. I've read this story many times. I've even taught this in my Sunday School class many times. I know the story very well. I thought I had known it so well that I had gotten all that I would get from it. I was wrong. This last time I read the story of Gideon I saw a few things that I had never noticed before, and I love the lessons that I have learned from his story.

Lessons Gideon can teach us:

1: I have learned that God will call whom He wills, regardless of status. Gideon was not only the youngest son in his family, but his family was the least of the tribe of Manasseh (6:15). The youngest son was not the most respected in biblical times. He was often given the menial tasks that the others didn't want to do. Gideon was truly a "least of these" man, but God called him anyway.

2: Gideon doubted that the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and was given the opportunity to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was the angel of God (6:17-24)

3: Gideon had fear, but faced it. He was told to tear down the alter of Baal and the Asherah (a grove or pole) beside the alter. He did this at night for fear of the people. When day came and people saw what had been done, it was Joash, Gideon's father, who stood up for Gideon telling the people that if Baal was a god, let him take retribution over Gideon (6:28-31).

4: Gideon also had trust issues. He asked God twice to show that God was with him, and both times God granted the request (6:36-40).

5: But the biggest thing to learn from Gideon is that he DID trust God and obeyed Him, even when the odds were against him. God had Gideon dwindle the army down from 32,000 soldiers to 300 (7:1-8). Think about that for a minute. Huge Midian army, and only 300 men to fight them. Odds were definitely against Gideon, but he persevered and overcame and defeated the Midianites, with only the 300 men.

What I took away from reading about Gideon this time was that we are all human, but God is God and He is with us. We will have doubts, we will have fears, we may even have some trust issues, but if we put all of that aside and continually seek God and His will, we will overcome, even if you are one of the "least of these".