We are in a series looking at the calling of God. This is our third character from the Bible in this series. We have already looked at the calling of Abraham and Joshua. Today we will be looking at the calling of Gideon. Every time we look at a character we launch into a new book, so today we are in the book of Judges. Let me just give a little bit of background before making some key point. So, last week we were looking at Joshua and we were in the book of Joshua which is the book as the people of Israel are crossing into the promise land into Canaan and we see Joshua doing all the things he does in the book of Joshua. Then Joshua has died at the age of 110 and then after that, sadly, the people of Israel most of the time were not following God as they had for a while when they first crossed into the promise land. They had started following the baals, they have started following the foreign Gods, they were not following the one true living God and there are ups and downs throughout the book of Judges. So, what God does is He raises up what are called Judges or Leaders and that’s why the book of Judges is called the book of Judges. God raised up at different times leader who would help to bring the people of Israel back to God and to help them fight off the enemies. And what was happening at this point in Gideon’s life? The Midianites were particularly the bad guys here, they were strong powerful nation and every time for the past 7-8 years Midianites would take all the crops and they would destroy anything they wouldn’t take with them. It was very difficult for the people of Israel, they didn’t have much food, and they were struggling and that’s where we see Gideon. Let’s make couple of point and see what we can take away from Gideon’s calling.
Know that God is with you – Judges 6:12
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you” Judges 6:12. It’s not just any angel that comes and visits Gideon, when it says the angel of the Lord here, almost all the commentaries would agree that it is a reference to God himself meeting Gideon whose threshing wheat in a vine press. What’s fascinating is to see is Gideon’s response. God says “Gideon, the Lord is with you” and you know what Gideon says, He says, If the Lord is with us, why is all this happened to us. Gideon is unsure that God is with him. He doesn’t really think that God is with him. And he needs to hear from God himself “Gideon, I am with you”. This is something that we as Christians need to settle this in our hearts when difficult times come, when bad things happen, remember, God is with us. Gideon needed to know that God is with him, Joshua needed to know that God is with him and God even told him three time “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”. We also needed to get this settled in our hearts that God is with us even when is doesn’t seem like it.
See yourself as God sees you – Judges 6:12
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you mighty warrior”. I just love God’s opening line to Gideon, “The Lord is with you might warrior”. There’s Gideon, he is in a vine press, he’s running scared of the Midianites, he’s frightened, he’s terrified if the Midianites catch him doing what he’s doing, he’s probably going to lose his head, he’s running scared and yet God comes and says, “The Lord is with you mighty warrior”. Let me tell you, Gideon did not feel like a mighty warrior but isn’t it wonderful when God comes and speaks and almost, he prophecies over Gideon and Gideon is quite unsure if he’s a might warrior. He thinks I can’t be a mighty warrior, I’m pathetic, I’m hiding away running scared. We need when we hear God’s call to see ourselves not through our own eyes but with God’s eyes. When we start to see ourselves with God’s eyes the whole world begins to change, everything starts turning to color, the lights come on and Gideon needed to hear this affirmation and when God looks at you and I, He looks and sees not just who we are right now, He sees our potential. God saw potential in a weakling like Gideon to be a mighty warrior. When God looks at you and I, He says, I want you to be a mighty warrior. The sad thing is often when we look at ourselves, we think I don’t have any potential and I just want to stay as I am, we don’t want to hear what God want to impart to us. Let me tell you, when God looks at you and I, He doesn’t see our limitations, He doesn’t see our inadequacies, He doesn’t see our incompetencies, He doesn’t see our shortcomings, when God looks at us, He sees massive potential of what we can be and what He wants us to be. He doesn’t see what we are now, He sees what we can be if we truly follow Him in every area of our lives.
God sends you – Judges 6:14
The Lord turned to Gideon and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hands. Am I not sending you?”. A key to following God’s calling is to totally be dependent on God’s strength and His resources. When we are dependent on God, He can use us as He wants. If we think, I am a self-made person, I have academic qualifications, I am this, I am that and we want God to send us because we think we are powerful and qualified. Let me tell you, God doesn’t want us to work in our own strength, He wants us to work in His strength. If we ever think that we can go in our own strength and fulfill God’s will, let me tell you, that can never happen. When we become completely dependent on God, then we begin to get used by God. Here God is asking Gideon not to go in his strength but be totally dependent on God and use God’s resources and that is one of the keys to overcoming low self-esteem. If we try anything in our own strength, we are going to fail undoubtably.
Allow God to deal with our low self-esteem – Judges 6:15
“But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Gideon is still having this quite long conversation with God who doesn’t seem to get frustrated with Gideon. Many of us today just like Gideon have a problem of low self-esteem. Let me tell you, God specializes in using the weak. Sometimes when it comes to low self-esteem which can manifest itself in many ways, it can be physical things, it can be metal things, it can be an emotional thing. Sometimes we can almost get into a low self-esteem pit. Let me share an example with you, hope this will help. There was a man who fell into a pit, and he couldn’t get himself out. A subjective person came along and said, “I feel for you down in your pit.” An objective person came along and said, “it’s logical that someone would fall into that pit.” A pharisee came along and said, “only bad people fall into pits.” A mathematician came along and calculated how deep the pit was. A news reporter wanted to get an exclusive story on the pit. A tax collector came by and asked if he was paying taxes on the pit. A phycologist said your mother and father are probably to blame for you being in the pit. An optimist said, “things could’ve been worse in that pit.” A pessimist said, “things will get worse in that pit.” But Jesus said, “I’ve come into this world to lift you out of the pit.” God doesn’t want us to stay in our pit. Sometimes we get over comfortable in our pit. DON’T! God wants us out of the pit. He wants us to be the man or the women He created us to be.
God is your peace – Judges 6:24
So, Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it – The Lord is Peace. Gideon has finally begun to understand that God is really for him, and that God is really with him. The word there for peace is Shalom and the word Shalom means completeness, it means wholeness, it means well-being. Somebody who is living in the peace of God, he or she is not going to have any low-esteem issues because when we understand the peace, the wholeness, the security, the strengthening, the completeness we have in the Shalom that God wants to give us, a lot of our insecurities are going to disappear.
May God be with you all!