Scripture: Judges 6:1-27
In the book of Judges we find the story of a man named Gideon, an Israelite who lived in dangerous and depressing times. The country was under constant threat of enemy invasion, farms were frequently attacked and raided, the nation’s glory days seemed far behind them. People believed that God had abandoned them and idol worship–always a problem–increased in fervor and frequency. Gideon was an average every-day citizen, doing what he had to do to survive. At the moment we meet him, that required stealthily harvesting grain while hiding in a winepress so that the cloud of dust didn’t attract robbers.
And then an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘Greetings, mighty warrior!’ and revealed that God had chosen him to deliver the people from their enemies.
There is a lot of similarity between Gideon’s age and our own. It is still far too easy for God’s people to be seduced by spirits of rage or despair. Remembering the ways that God has rescued and redeemed our ancestors, we learn how to expectantly pray–Again, Lord. We need Gideon’s story in this season. We need the reminder that God is no respecter of persons, that his anointed ones are found in the most unexpected places. But even more importantly, Gideon’s story teaches us that the source of our suffering often isn’t where we think it is. Gideon’s first task as the deliverer of his people wasn’t on a battlefield–but in his own backyard. The same is often true of us.
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