An Unlikely Warrior

I have been doing topical Bible Studies and currently, I’m studying about Angels. What fascinating and exciting encounters different people had with angels but the most special ones of all was when they were visited by the Angel of the LORD, the preincarnate Christ. One such experience was Gideon’s.

Gideon was threshing the wheat in the winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites. Who were the Midianites and why was he hiding what he was doing from the Midianites? The Midianites were descendants from Abraham’s son, Midian with his wife, Keturah whom he married after his first wife, Sarah died. Moses’ wife and family were Midianites.

The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years. The Midianites prevailed against them. Whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey.  For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it.  So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.

When the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, He sent a prophet to remind them that He had brought them out of bondage in the land of Egypt; that He had delivered them out of the hand of all those who oppressed them, driving them out of the land and giving it to the Israelites. He reminded them that He was their God and told them not to fear the gods of the Amorites, but the people didn’t obey Him.

Gideon was hiding what he was doing because he didn’t want the Midianites to come and destroy it as they were inclined to do. While he was doing that, the Angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor.”

And Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”

Gideon asked Him how could he save Israel when his clan was the weakest in Manasseh and he was the least in his father’s house. The LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

Gideon asked Him to show him a sign that it was He who talked with him. “Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to you and bring out my offering and set it before you.” And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”

Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them.

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The Angel of GOD said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.

Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.

Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face.”

Then the LORD said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.”

So Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it The-LORD-Shalom.

What an exciting face to face interaction with the Angel of the LORD. It was one Gideon would never forget. The people had cried out to the LORD because of the Midianites and God had answered their cries. He called Gideon to go up against the enemies of the children of Israel and defeat them. He wouldn’t do it alone, of course, the Angel of the LORD said that He would be with him.

Gideon didn’t think he could be the one to save his people because of his clan and his position in his household. When God calls us into ministry, we are hesitant because we don’t think we’re qualified. You’ve heard the saying that God doesn’t call the qualified but He qualifies those whom He calls. God choses whom He pleases. All we have to do is to obey and trust Him. He won’t call us to serve Him and then leave us on our own to figure things out. When Gideon goes out to face the Midianites, God will be right there in the thick of things.

When God calls you to do something that you don’t feel you’re the right person for, ask Him to help you to trust in Him because He knows best–He sees what you can’t see. Ask Him to increase your faith. Don’t let doubt or fear or a feeling of inadequacy rob you of what the wonderful things God could accomplish through you.

In the end, Gideon subdued the Midianites. Thus Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted their heads no more. And the country was quiet for forty years in the days of Gideon (Judges 8).

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