Psalm of Praise: Psalms 105:4-5
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.
Bible Reading: Judges 6:12-16
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." "Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, 'Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." The Lord turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"
"Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but how can I save Israel?
My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
The Lord answered, "I will be with you."
In the years after Israel entered the Promised Land they had long periods of turning away from God and in these times they were frequently attacked and occupied by their neighbours. When they had turned away from God it felt like God had turned away from them. In the time of Gideon Israel was occupied by the Midianites. But God had not turned away from them, he was simply waiting for them to turn back to him.
I wonder if there are times when you feel God has turned away from you, and whether this feeling might be the result of you turning away from him at some point. Whatever it might be, he is there waiting to welcome you back. All you have to do is turn to him.
When Israel turned back to God, he sent an angel to raise up someone to lead the people against the Midianites. He chose Gideon whom he addressed as ‘Mighty warrior.’ The problem was that this ‘mighty warrior’ was a man with a major inferiority complex who was hiding in a wine press so that he could thresh the family’s corn out of sight of the marauding Midianites.
Gideon made excuses as the why he couldn’t lead the Israelites saying that he was the least in his family which was part of the weakest clan in one of the smallest tribes in Israel. Not leadership material in anyone’s eyes. But in God’s eyes, just the person.
So often in the bible God chooses the weak and the insignificant to fulfil his purposes. His reason? So that we depend on him and not on ourselves. As he said to Gideon, ‘I will be with you.’
Is there anything God might be asking you to do where you feel inadequate or weak? Will you overcome your excuses and say ‘Yes’ to God? Will you go in the strength that you have, however small that might be, and trust that he will be with you?
Lord God, I turn to you today.
Forgive me for the times my sense of inadequacy prevents me from doing your will.
Give me the faith to trust in you.
Give thanks with a grateful heart