Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
People of God: The body of Jesus ChristJudges 6:11-24
Vs 14: The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.
Israel was in hiding, and the Midianites had overrun the land. This repeatedly happens in the Book of Judges. The Israelites forsake the Lord to run after other gods they think will give them more of what they want. God’s anger is aroused against his rebellious people, and he allows their enemies to overtake them. Then, in their distress they cry out to the Lord for help. And the Lord raises a judge, a deliverer, to rescue them from the power of their enemies. Then everything goes well for some time. But when the judge dies, the people become spiritually complacent and apathetic, and they forsake the Lord again. The whole process starts all over.
This time, the Midianites had come up against Israel with an immense number of troops and ravaged the country. The combined army of Midian was massive, numbering some 135,000 fighting men. The Lord had appeared to Gideon and said, “Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian.” (Judg. 6:14). Gideon tried arguing that he was a nobody from an unimportant clan. He was weakest in his father’s house. But the Lord did not change his mind because these things were not that important to him. The Lord was sending Gideon to save Israel so that he would save Israel.
A mere 300 Israelites would take on 135,000 Midianites. The Israelites don’t have numbers on their side. But they don’t need numbers. They have the Lord. His Word is on their side. This was so that the victory would not be won by human strength, so they could boast in themselves, but solely by the power of the Lord. The battle belongs to the Lord and not human strength. Statistics don’t matter when the Lord is the one fighting.
Gideon is a picture of Jesus. He was the one chosen by God to deliver Israel. Even though he was weakest and least, he was the Lord’s man for the job. This is a consistent theme even to the end of the Gideon narrative. Instead of defeating the Midianites with strength of arms, the Lord defeats them with weakness. Paul makes the same point in 1 Corinthians, “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong so that no flesh may boast in the presence of God.
This is how God has chosen to save us – hiddenly, quietly, gently and weakly. You may want it some other way, but this is the way God has provided so that your faith, hope, and trust is not in yourself or displays of power but the hidden strength of the cross. God has hidden his power in weakness precisely to get you to trust him instead of yourself or anything in the world. We have experienced that power. We have faith to see the weakness of the cross is the power of God’s love.Just like God used the weakness of the cross to save you, he continues to use weakness to deliver that salvation to you. God uses weak things to build his Church.
Merciful Lord, enlighten our minds so that we rely on your strength when we face life's challenge
A lot of us are just like Gideon. We know the Lord wants us to serve Him; we might even understand that He wants to use us for His glory, but we are so filled with fear and a sense of our own inability that refuse to trust Him.
Mar Thoma Church of Greater Washington