On Mondays at lunch, we fast and pray for men and women to be progressively more shaped into God’s image and for marriages to those who desire them.
Late last year, I was reading through the book of Judges and seeing as it’s not, on the surface, the most encouraging book of the Bible, I found reading it to be challenging. Why on earth would I want to read about an obese guy getting stabbed, a dude dying by tent peg, and a creep going all serial killer on his mistress? (I kept thinking. Just keep reading, eventually, you’re going to get to Ruth.) So, of course, when my church started its January sermon series on the book of Judges, I thought, I have no idea how this is going to get by without a parental warning.
This week, we made around to Gideon. Gideon was this weak, nobody. He was the least impressive member of his ridiculously unimpressive family. He was an insecure, people-pleaser who needed constant reassurance from God (even though God had shown up and promised to be with him). Maybe, Jesus had Gideon in mind when He made that faith as small as a mustard seed comment. Somehow, it’s this guy who God decided to use to rescue Israel from their enemies. My pastor’s question from this morning is still ringing in my ears this afternoon:
What did God do in response to Gideon’s weakness?
God made Gideon even weaker.
At the beginning of Judges 7, Gideon has an army of 22,000 men. When God was finished organizing the worst battle plan in the history of warfare, Gideon had 300 men and as their weapons, trumpets, torches, and jars. This “army” is a complete laughing stock, and yet, they saw victory.
When I come to prayer on Mondays (and most days), I frequently feel like Gideon. I feel insecure, and I am constantly asking God for reassurance–a sign that He hears my prayers (whether that’s for a spouse, for vocational direction, or for restored relationships.) I try to be bold in my prayers, but I crave more confidence that I will see the “goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” I don’t want to sing about a day in the future when my faith shall be sight. I want it to be today!
Why did God make Gideon weaker?
God wanted Israel to give Him the glory for the victory.
Why does God allow weakness and insecurity in our lives?
God wants to show us that He brings victory.
Gideon’s story is an embodiment of 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
When we see answers to prayer, whether it’s your prayers for a spouse, your prayers to be set free from worry and anxiety, or your prayers for victory over a besetting sin, we will know without a doubt that we didn’t see these because we were strong, but because our God is.