There’s a Biblical character I’d like you to meet; his name is Gideon. You know who Gideon is, right? He’s the guy who stayed in your hotel room just before you did and left his Bible, The Gideon Bible. Get it? I didn’t think so, but I couldn’t resist. Gideon was one of the judges that God used to rescue his people in the book of Judges.
Let me give you some background about what was going on with the Israelites when Gideon came on the scene: The Isrealites had done evil in the eyes of God (nothing new there) so He turned them over to the hands of the Midianites. The Midianites were one of the first people to domesticate the camel and their military took advantage of this knowledge to build a powerful army.
Every year at harvest the large Midianite army, about 150,000 strong, would sweep over the Israelites and steal the harvest from the Israelites. That left them bloodied and beaten but also without food for the next year. Although the Midianites only attacked once a year, the results lasted all year long.
Israel needed a hero to save them from the Midianites and back in those days, the heros God sent were called judges. This time God called on Gideon. Do you know where He found this future hero? Working out? In a mixed martial arts class? In the Temple? At the law library? Nope. Here’s where Gideon was:
This picture reminds me of my favorite episode of “I Love Lucy;” the one where Lucy was stomping grapes. Do you remember it? It’s a classic. No, God didn’t find Gideon in a 1950s sitcom, but he was in a wine press. He wasn’t stomping the grapes like Lucy though; he was hiding. Sounds just like the fearless leader that the Israelites need, doesn’t it?
There are a lot of songs about being fearless these days. The most famous is by one of my daughter’s favorite artists, T-Swift, but did you know Pink Floyd, Colbie Caillat, Jennifer Batten, and Melissa Etheridge have also written songs with the same title. Every one wants to be fearless but here’s the first thing you need to know about giving God control of your life: You don’t have to be fearless for God to call you.
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”– Judges 6:11,12
What did he call Gideon? “Mighty warrior.” When you encounter a mighty warrior you expect to see him sharpening his machete or just getting out of the weight room or exiting the octagon. Gideon is hiding in a winepress. At this point in the story Gideon could star in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” but that’s not how God sees it. His greeting for Gideon is Mighty Warrior. To me, it’s a name that just doesn’t seem to fit.
When God found Gideon, was Gideon a mighty warrior? Absolutely. Maybe not in your eyes or my eyes or his family’s eyes or the nation of Israel’s eyes, but those people don’t matter. He was a mighty warrior in God’s eyes. Even though he was scared and hiding, God saw something in Gideon that even Gideon didn’t see. I think that is worth repeating: God sees qualities in you that you don’t even see.
God took one look at Gideon and He thought “Mighty Warrior.” You know what? That’s the same way he thinks of you. He looks at you and thinks “Mighty Warrior.” My guess is some of you don’t feel like a mighty warrior. In fact, if you were to name yourself it would probably be something along the lines of “defeated one” because today you feel beat up. You’re wounded. You’ve been hurt. You’re clawing your way out of it. Today you need to know that there is someone out there who thinks you can do it. There is someone out there who believes in you with all his heart. There is someone out there who thinks you are valuable. A mighty warrior. And you know what? He’s right. In his eyes that’s how He thinks of you. Because that’s what you are.