He was sitting in the middle of a winepress, hiding from his enemy, threshing wheat. Defeated and discouraged, Gideon was hardly a man you would describe as part of God’s inheritance of the Promised Land. If he didn’t thresh his wheat in secret, the Midianites, his enemy, would come and plunder the food, leaving him more hopeless and desperate than ever. And yet in the middle of this sad state, an angel of the LORD visits him:
Judges 6:12, ESV
And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
Um, what now?
There may be circumstances in your own life where you feel completely done under, barely coming up for air, sitting in the dark threshing your own wheat just to get by, trying to manage making it through one more day. You simply want to go unnoticed and un-harassed. Oh, I know several folks sitting in that place right now. It was me last year this time. And I know that in these moments, we certainly don’t feel like “mighty men of valor,” but when God Himself calls us that, He has a clear vision of what’s ahead and how He is about to use us for good.
For good? In these circumstances of certain defeat? How can He possibly use it for good?
Well, Gideon sure didn’t jump in with both feet initially. He needed a bit of reassurance, some confirmation. Do you know why?
At first he did not Read the rest of this entry »