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The Rest of the Story

Three weeks ago I wrote about Gideon in Pardon Me. The beginning of Gideon’s story in Judges 6 highlights his weaknesses even after the angel of God called him a mighty warrior.

Gideon was no mighty warrior. Not on his own. But God is El Shaddai. God Almighty.

from Pardon Me

The story gets better. Gideon was afraid; still he obeyed God.

So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. 6:27

God’s Salvation

Then there’s the well known sign of the fleece and the defeat of the Midianites with only 300 men.

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ 7:2

It was no small feat that Gideon enlisted his tribesmen, the Abiezerites, to fight Midian, because he’d just destroyed their idols. But the Spirit of the Lord was upon him.

Gideon’s troops numbered 32,000, but he obeyed God and told anyone who “trembled with fear” to leave. Twenty two thousand troops left. He obeyed God again and only 300 men remained. The diminished army must have appeared scant against the multitudes of an enemy described as “thick as locusts”.

This was God’s act of salvation, not man’s.

His Faith

I’m astounded at Gideon’s honesty with God. He didn’t hide his weaknesses, fears and doubts. He asked God over and over for confirmation. Gideon believed the Lord’s declaration to Moses centuries earlier, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,”

We may read Gideon’s story and wince at his questions to God. We may chuckle at his sneaking around to do what God told him. We may think him foolish for asking over and over for proof.

The writer of Hebrews thought Gideon’s faith worthy of including his name in the classical New Testament passage of faith, along with some lesser known faithful giants.

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.  Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.  Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—  the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:32-40 NIV

Gideon believed God and moved forward. He doubted and asked. He obeyed when he was scared. He was weak and God was strong. Gideon was faithful.

Let us be like Gideon….humble, honest, and open with God and others about our faith. Let us be faithful.

"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves."  
Zephaniah 3:17

Photo by Nghia Le on Unsplash

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