Before Jesus walked among us and before the Holy Spirit was given to believers, God’s presence and guidance was fleeting and external. Generally, the prophet, the priest, or an angel gave instructions from God. God’s presence was constrained to His tabernacle. Gideon did not have his Bible in his nightstand. lol
Judges 6 tells us that the Angel of the Lord visited Gideon while this fearful man threshed wheat near the wine press, typically below ground or in a cave. Because of their disobedience and unfaithfulness, God gave the nation of Israel into bondage and oppression to the Midianites in order to turn their hearts back to Himself.
And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? . . .__ Judges 6:13
Gideon is so human, so real that I had to learn more about him. His response is classic! Why God? Why?
When I ask myself why “why” means so much when facing adversity, I can only say that I am looking for the origin of the trouble. I want to strategize to avoid this cause in the future and to apply a remedy as expeditiously as possible. True to form, God does not speak to Gideon’s query, He charges Gideon to deliver his people from the Midianites.
And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. __Judges 6:15
Gideon assesses himself as the least of his clan while God speaks to his inherent courage that has been obscured by the outward oppression. God knows each of us more intimately than we know our selves. That may not mean much to one who does not practice self-assessment with any regularity. But to an introspective person like myself, this truth is provocative. “Deep calls to deep.”
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. . . . I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? __ Psalm 42:7&9
It is God’s great love for us that causes our Creator to tenderly peel away the weights of tradition that tether us to worldly reason. What Gideon does next is typical of budding faith; Gideon asks for a sign. In verses 17-22 we witness Faith grow. I call this budding faith because Gideon did not refuse his God-given assignment. Gideon had a “want to” or willingness to obey God. Little faith says “ Yes ,but how, Lord?”
I want pause here for today . . .