It is easy to grow frustrated because we feel like God is not doing anything to change our circumstances. We have to keep in mind that He can view the whole picture of our life, whereas our view is limited to our human eyes.
When you look at the image below, do you see a vase, or do you see two human faces looking at each other? Things are not always as they seem!
The story of Gideon has come up time and time again in sermons and my devotions. I took some time to read the story in Judges again. If you haven’t read this story recently, I suggest you do it. The Bible is so good!
In Judges, we find the nation of Israel continues in its cycle of sin. The people refused to fully surrender to God, which led to the nation’s decline (Judges 2:14-15). God had given the Israelites over to the Midianites for seven years. The Israelites would work to plant crops, even hiding them so the Midianites would not find them. Every time, they would be discovered and ruined. The Midianites would ravage crops, livestock, sheep, all of it.
The Israelites finally cried out to God, but He was rightfully annoyed with them. He had rescued them from slavery and given them land, yet they still disobeyed God.
He sent them a prophet who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”Judges 6:8-10
Have you ever felt like the Israelites? Have you felt like God has abandoned you and is watching the enemy win? Sometimes we may be left out, like the Israelites, because we are ignoring the voice of God.
An angel appears to Gideon and tells him to go in strength and save Israel! Wait?! One man is going to save an entire nation? That’s just crazy! Gideon thought the same thing as he pleads with God, “But, Lord. I am the weakest in my family. My clan is the weakest.”
God’s response is simply, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”
I will be with you.
The time comes for Gideon to make his move. I am sure he was nervous. He had 32,000 men ready for battle. God tells Gideon that was too many! Poor Gideon was probably thinking, “Ummm, hello, God? Are you sure? Have you seen me? I need a great army.” God gives Gideon instructions and eventually decreases his group to 300 men. The men approached the Midianite camp, and they ran them off with trumpets and empty jars! Did you grasp that? They used trumpets and empty jars!
You may be feeling like Gideon today. God has called you to stand for your marriage, but you feel like you aren’t equipped. You may feel like He took your army away. That may have been your family, your church, or the only life you ever knew.
Just as God promised Gideon that He would be with him, He is also with you! He will equip you for the task at hand. That may mean He tells you to clean off your old trumpet and wash that mayonnaise jar, or it may mean something else, but trust that He will equip you. Gideon had to take many steps of faith as God showed him what the ultimate plan was.
One of the best verses in chapter 7 is this –
The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her.”Judges 7:2
God didn’t want Israel to think their strength saved them when it was actually Him! Whoa! Do you grasp that? What are you putting your strength in? A Bible study group? A friend? Social media? Your spouse? It is all about Him! He is powerful enough to handle whatever you are facing!
You can trust God, even in the hard places!
- Trust His timing
- God will equip you
- Recognize that His ways are higher than our ways
Examine your heart and make sure you are not ignoring the voice of God. Then, wait on Him. He will direct your steps! He can see the entire picture, and even when it doesn’t make sense to you (like taking an army from 32,000 to 300), know that He is in control!