Focal Passage: Judges 6:1-8:21
I once did a series of sermons on how God uses those who are nobodies. One message dealt with the man in our lesson today – Gideon. It covered how the human hero of this account really could have received the “Super Chicken” award. For a number of years after a teenage boy would remind me of the “Super Chicken” sermon.
This historical account begins at the point in the cycle where Israel is in captivity and God is getting ready to send them a deliverer. They have been crying out to God, and they were seeking that super-human, mega-warrior to free them from their yoke of bondage. They knew God would send them a fearless captain of courage to deliver the nation.
And the scene opens with … Gideon. Their deliverer is not found on a mountaintop. He is hiding in the bottom of an Israeli winepress. He does not have flashing armor and majestic weapons; all he has is a winnowing fork. The deliverer of Israel is not chanting battle cries, he is whimpering and holding a pity party.
Imagine the scene. Gideon is hidden while small puffs of wheat rise above the edges of the winepress.
And suddenly the Angel of the Lord declares – “Hail, man of valor.” Can you picture Gideon looking around to see who is being talked about. As we look at this play out, we can see some important lessons for us.
God sees what we can be, not what we are. Often we compare ourselves to others and develop feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. We miss out on God’s best for us because we are to busy focusing on ourselves and not on God. Achieving significance and success in God’s Kingdom is not based on our abilities, but on our availability. God calls us (a call being when He places a need before us) because He sees what we are capable of accomplishing through Him.
We need to focus not on ourselves, but on the One who makes Kingdom success possible. God rarely “calls the equipped, but equips the called” so He gets all the honor.