The words “people willing” and “willing volunteers” stood out to me in Judges 5 along with verse 31, But may they who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength. God looks for willing hearts and then infuses His mighty strength to accomplish that which He has planned. When His eyes roamed the land He must have noticed something of a willing heart as His eyes rested on Gideon because it sure wasn’t his acts of valiant bravery that caught His eye.
Gideon was noticed by God while threshing wheat in a winepress… you read right… hiding from the enemy threshing his wheat in a winepress. Not his proudest moment I’m sure but in the very next verse the angel of the Lord appears to him and calls him a “mighty warrior” and says you’re my guy to free Israel. Proof God looks at the heart. Gideon’s next act wasn’t much braver. He carried out the Lords plan during the night instead of during the day in fear of his own family and the town! The key is he was willing to follow through in-spite of fear. God didn’t create Gideon to thresh his wheat in a winepress or run around in the dark hiding in fear, although Gideon might protest. He tries to assure God He has the wrong guy… he is the weakest and the least. Sound familiar? I can’t God, it doesn’t make sense, I’m not qualified… by a long stretch! The Lord turned to Gideon as He often does to us and says, Go in the strength you have…6:14 Use what I already gave you and I will show up, trust Me that’s enough.
How often we stand around waiting for God to part the Jordan first, to give us the battle details, lay out the maps start to finish…. and He just says, show me your faith and I will show you My faithfulness. Judges 6:16 Seek more trust over more clarity.
Then because we are the way we are… rationalizing how we can handle things, often not even thinking of looking to God until we are in an impoverished state (6:6) God specializes in defying the odds. When we face impossible odds why do we not immediately turn unafraid to the One who specializes in defying them? Gideon had many questions for God to make sure he wasn’t going alone. We too need to seek deeply the will of God to make sure its His voice and that what we think He is calling us to aligns with His Word because He will never contradict Himself. The details might be fuzzy but His voice should be clear.
Gideon was clearly called and God was clearly with him. Gideon had to continue to trust God as insurmountable odds increased. God in His grace and mercy knew the condition of Gideon’s heart… I’m sure He saw Gideon’s expression as He dwindled his army to 300 when he was up against an army thick as locusts, who’s camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore (6:12)! So God offers encouragement through a friend and through an opportunity that Gideon takes advantage of. How often is God trying to encourage us along the journey and we are too busy to take notice or advantage of the opportunity?!
I’ve heard it said, sometimes all you need is a little 2:00am courage, or, only 30 seconds of pure raw bravery. That’s what I think Gideon took advantage of in the night after God’s dose of encouragement he went straight to camp and yelled to his small group of soldiers “Get up!” and the rest is history! God gave the victory to Gideon over the enemy in-spite of the insurmountable odds because Gideon’s heart was willing to trust in a God bigger than himself and his circumstances. Are we?
Independent Read: Matt. 19:26, Isaiah 59:1