Scripture Read: Judges 6:27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night
Application: We sometimes find it so easy to divorce ourselves from our own humanity yet be very quick to judge the flaws of someone else. In these verses we find a common contradiction of strength, and courage from our "valiant warrior" too afraid to do what God commanded him to do “in daylight”, afraid, he waits until it is dark. Should we beat up Gideon for his fear? Before we do, let's consider a few things. First, God was the One that called him valiant. God views us with all the potential we have and can’t imagine having or doing. This is how God saw Gideon, he never claimed to be valiant. Secondly, Gideon's fear was probably very reasonable, we would probably have “felt” the same. His entire nation had moved away from God and had become enslaved to idolatry. If Gideon starts messing around with their false gods, his life could be endangered. When people become enslaved to idols, if you challenge their belief you could find yourself in trouble. Imagine what can happen if you start tearing down their statues and alters!
"But Nate, God was and is on Gideon’s side, so he should not be afraid" you may say. Yes, I would agree, but please remember the state of Gideon's faith based on the society he lived in. 1) He had no models that we know of and 2) he had not experienced a life close to God. At this point in history, God had turned the nation over for judgment. (in other words, left them to flounder without Him) So, as with each one of us today, God starts from where the person is at. Therefore, before we cast any stones, lets look in the mirror! Today we have the person of God, the Holy Spirit living in us, even so, many times we allow fear to control us when we should be standing on the solid foundation of faith. Because we all struggle with our faith at times, we should be merciful when looking at others who are struggling. Lastly, and this is very important, Gideon did obey. It may have been at night and he was affected by his fear, but bottom line...he obeyed. Jesus made this point when He spoke about two sons:
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ “And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. “The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. “For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him. Matthew 21:28–32
One son told his father he would obey him, but did not do what he was told. The second said he would not, but did what he was asked and his actions followed through in obedience. Jesus pointed out in the end...the one that DID what was asked obeyed, and all agreed! No matter how weak Gideon's faith was, we need to be like him in the end. Whether easy or hard, the bottom line is - just obey!
Meditation Questions: In the end, do you obey God? If you struggle with obedience, why is that? Based on your answer, what do you think you need to do? If you struggle but finally obey, what is your goal the next time? Should you allow the enemy make you feel weak because you struggled? How should you confront those emotions? Should you ever justify a lack in faith? Why? Why not? When someone does not show you complete trust how do you feel? What are they saying about you? Does God deserve those thoughts from you? What does your answer show?