“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?’ So he said to Him, ‘O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house’ (Judges 6:14-15).
Once again because of Israel’s turning their backs on God, God allows Israel to be oppressed by their heathen neighbors, the Midianites (Judges 6:1-6). After sending a prophet to Israel informing them of their sin (Judges 6:7-10), the Angel of the Lord comes to Gideon and informs him that God is going to use him to deliver Israel from the heavy hand of the Midianites (Judges 6:11-14).
As the opening verses above indicate, Gideon reacts to this opportunity with great doubt. He looks at himself and sees by his own power he is completely unable to do such a task. He is from the weakest clan in his tribe of Manasseh and he is the least among those in his father’s house (Judges 6:15). How can he possibly save his people from the Midianites?
Like many of us, Gideon looked to himself for the power to accomplish this task. He did not look up to God. His faith in God at this point is very weak. God is going to work with Gideon to increase his faith. God does this by: (1) causing fire to come out of a rock that consumes a sacrifice Gideon had prepared on an altar (Judges 6:17-24), (2) challenging Gideon to prepare a 2nd sacrifice on an altar he will make after destroying his own father’s idolatrous altar (Judges 6:25-32), (3) causing a fleece of wool to be wet with the morning dew while the ground around it remained dry (Judges 6:36-38), the next day causing the fleece of wool to remain dry while the ground all around it was wet with the morning dew (Judges 6:39-40) and, then, having Gideon and his companion go down into the Midianite camp and overhear them saying the Israelites would defeat them in battle (Judges 7:8-15).
When I consider this, I am amazed at how God worked with Gideon to help grow his faith. Gideon’s faith would then be put to a great challenge as God would decrease the size of Gideon’s army down to only 300 men with which He would have Gideon lead to defeat a massive army of Midianites (Judges 7:1-7, 16-25). Gideon’s faith in God is mentioned in “Faith’s Hall of Fame” (Hebrews 11:32).
As I consider this, I think how God has worked with me over the years to patiently help my faith grow in Him. Even as a Christian, there have been multiple times when facing a challenge, like Gideon, I have looked inwardly to my own weaknesses instead of looking up to God and placing my faith in His power. God has patiently allowed me to continue in my study of His Word, so that my faith in His power may grow (Romans 10:17). God has allowed me to go through challenges so that by these my faith in Him can grow (Romans 5:1-4; James 1:2-4). My faith in Him certainly isn’t perfect. I have not “arrived”. However, I do rejoice that my faith is growing.
From the beginning God told Gideon, “Go in this might of yours…” (Judges 6:14). It appears Gideon interpreted this to mean, by Gideon’s own might. God was not talking about the “might” of Gideon, but the “might” of God. Through God’s power, the Midianites would be defeated: “And the Lord said to him, ‘Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man’" (Judges 6:16).
God is Almighty! Today, I rejoice in the “might” of God to work in my life in the challenges I face. I will also rejoice in God’s incredible patience with me in working with me to help my faith in Him to grow!
“Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Psalm 119:17-18).