CONTEXT OF GIDEON’S CALLING
At the time of Gideon, Israel was mired in the “filth” or “pigpen” stage of the “sin cycle. Judges 6:1 “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years.” The people of Israel hid in caves in the mountains for fear of the enemy (like many of us Spiritually hide in our caves now). The Midianites and others would periodically (when in need and/or for fun) invade their land, commandeer their livestock, and plunder their crops during harvest season. This left Israel impoverished year after year.
Enter Gideon. He is threshing wheat in a wine-press in order to hide his harvest from the Midianites. Suddenly, an “Angel of the Lord” appears, casually sits down under a terebinth tree, and strikes up a conversation with Gideon. The first words proceeding from the Angel’s mouth are “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12)
These initially appear to be rather odd words spoken to a man who is hiding in fear from the enemy. We soon discover that God sees Gideon for who “he can be.” Gideon sees himself only “as he is now.” The Angel is here to correct that impression which is the reason for his bold, direct, introductory description of Gideon as a “mighty man of valor.” Was Gideon a mighty man of valor? No, not at that time…but He could be…He would be.
God sees us as He created us to be. He sees our potential in Christ. He peers into the future and sees our destiny…even if we cannot.
As a citizen of Israel and a covenant partner with Jehovah God, Gideon is part of the problem. Like all of the other Israelites, He is caught in the vicious “sin cycle.” But he is also the solution. The same goes for each of us. Although we might be part of the problem with this world, we can soon become an important part of the solution! We are usually (if not always) one or the other.
From this time forward, there exists a “song and dance” between Gideon and God which mimics every believer’s life. God is intent on “leading” in this dance, that is, molding Gideon into the person He was created to be and ensuring the fulfillment of Gideon’s destiny… rather God and Gideon’s destiny together…rather “God’s” destiny through Gideon which also becomes Gideon’s “owned” destiny. Yet Gideon still wants to lead and introduces his excuses, reasons, and doubts regarding God’s plan for him and God’s people. Gideon is just like us! Let us take a look at some of these.