"Questioning God and Self"
Gideon’s first response is to question God’s ways, methods, motives and essentially God’s character. Do not condemn Gideon too quickly. We all do it. Gideon asks (Judges 6:13) “…if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” Or, in other words, if God truly loves us then why are all of His people hiding in fear and tormented by our enemies?
Who among us has not posed the same question? If God loves me so intensely and desires the best for me, why did this happen?
Gideon continues his interrogation of the Angel regarding God’s character and his own personal distrust, “and where are all His miracles...Why has the Lord forsaken us?” Again, who among us has not challenged God similarly? If God can do miracles, why didn’t He perform one on my behalf in my time of need? Why has the Lord forsaken me? Where was God when I needed Him?
In truth, do you recall the real problem here? Should Gideon’s accusatory finger actually be pointing to God? God had not abandoned Israel. Israel had abandoned God. Folks, this is ALWAYS the answer. It is not “God’s fault.” It is “our” fault (collectively as a fallen human race). It is also “my” fault individually. Did God desert us? No, we deserted Him.
“Self absorption” is a direct consequence of our “fallen condition.” Therefore, as a result of our sin we tend to fault God instead of the obvious culprit -- ourselves. We blame God for abandoning us when, in all reality, it is the reverse. We are the guilty party.
If you do not sense the Lord’s presence in your life…if you do not enjoy the Lord…if you believe there is a rift in your relationship…if you feel distant from God, guess who moved? God is continually, day by day, minute by minute, trying to woo you back to a personal relationship with Him. He is doing all He can do. You need proof? You need proof? I’ll give you some proof!
Even though we sin against God and disobey Him, He still loves us! He loves us so much He sacrificed His own beloved, perfect Son in our place in order to restore that relationship with us! No more proof is needed.
Next Gideon utilizes an age-old excuse for God’s plan, “I can’t do it.” In 6:15 Gideon moans and groans, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” In other words, “Who you calling ‘a mighty man of valor?’ I think you have me mixed up with someone else. You see, I and my family (or clan) are the least among all of God’s families in Israel. Not only that, but I dwell at the lowest link of the food chain within my own clan. You must have me mistaken for someone else.”
Remember what we have learned in regards to gifts and talents from God…no one believes they have been given any. I hope I was able to change that false perception. Each of us has been instilled with strengths and talents from God that will “come alive” as we follow our Lord. Likewise, most Christians fail to see how they could possibly make much of an impact for God’s kingdom. After all, “I am just…me! I have no extraordinary skills. I am no Moses or David or Apostle Paul. I seem to continuously fail God miserably nearly every day. I am certainly no pastor or missionary. I am just ‘me.’”
If there is one repeated excuse I hear more often than any other, it is this one. This is the precise reason I share so many messages about the men and women of the Bible and emphasize their Scriptural portrayal as ordinary, normal, common folk like you and me. The Bible never attempts to cover up or gloss over the faults, failures, frailty, flaws, or foibles of each one. You have heard me say this before and I will continue to repeat a saying from an old friend of mine, “There are no extraordinary men or women in the Bible…only ordinary people used by an extraordinary God.”
So let us abandon this age old excuse, “I can’t do it.” For if you ask sincerely, “Who am I? What could I possibly do for God?” The Lord will give you the same answer as He did Gideon, “Have I not sent you?” and “Surely I will be with you” (6:16). You have the full support, authority, and raw power of the God of the universe. Why are you worried? It all boils down to (as every question in the Bible does) a matter of faith. Do we trust God or not?
The reason you CAN do what God has called you to do…the reason you can BE who God created you to be…is due to one reason and one only – this is God’s purpose for your life, and it is GOD who will bring it to fruition.