“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” – Judges 6:13-14
Our perspective — the way we interpret what’s happening around us — can make or break us in any given situation. Our perspectives shape us, how we think, how we engage with people, and our daily actions. It steers the way we live. God sometimes has a totally different perspective than us.
The challenge for us is for us to align our perspective with God to see things from His vantage point. That often requires us to change the way we think. We need to change our perspective on who we are. In Judges 6, God turns a worrier into a warrior. Gideon was a man that was challenged several times to look at things through a different lens, to have faith in God, and to say yes to all that God wanted to do through his life. God took Gideon, an ordinary person, and used him to do some extraordinary things. After being called a mighty warrior, Gideon questions God: “Sir, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” (Judges 6:13) Gideon’s conclusion was that the Lord had abandoned them.
Verse 14 records something that must have caught Gideon off guard. It says that “the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” Gideon still isn’t doing the math in this divine equation, so he notes just how unimpressive his resume is. He is the weakest link in his clan, the youngest in his family. He doesn’t have any authority to call out the cavalry from his own tribe, let alone from others. But God confirms His priorities with His presence in v. 16, “…I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” Gideon is given a task, told the remarkable results in advance, and promised the partnership of God Himself. In verse 22, the pieces fell into place for Gideon: “ When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”
Gideon needed a personal encounter with God and his outlook, his perspective changed. When we live with our own narrow negative perception we restrict how God can flow through us. We want no obstacles and no boundaries to what God can do. Just like Gideon, God wants to take ordinary us and do something extraordinary. God has a plan for all of us. Make the most of the opportunities the Lord gives you. Be faithful, be focused, and follow Him.
- What does this story on Gideon tell us about how God looks at us?
- What are some perceptions that you need to address in your relationship with God?