“Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” – Judges 5:14-16.
Desmond Doss would have seemed the most unlikeliest of heroes. The movie Hacksaw Ridge features the true story of Pfc. Doss, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds. Doss, a Christian who wouldn’t touch a weapon or work on the Sabbath, enlisted in the Army as a combat medic because he believed in the cause, but had vowed not to kill. The Army wanted nothing to do with him. His fellow soldiers constantly harassed him. His commanding officer tried to get him transferred. But in a bloody battle called “Hacksaw Ridge” Doss saved 75 men—including his captain, over a 12-hour period. The same soldiers who had shamed him now praised him. Veteran Carl Bentley, who was also at Hacksaw Ridge, said, “It’s as if God had his hand on [Doss’] shoulder. It’s the only explanation I can give.”
In Judges 6, we read about another person who wasn’t a hero by any stretch of the imagination. That is until God used him to do the impossible. If you grew up in church you probably heard the story of brave and strong Gideon. But when reading Judges 4:14-16 you get a different picture. Gideon would not appear to be a good candidate for the job God wanted done. The Bible doesn’t say this of course, but you have to wonder how Gideon reacted when the prophet the Lord sent said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” (Judges 6:12) Gideon didn’t recognize that his calling was rooted in the strength, wisdom, and ability of God. Gideon thought he was going to be responsible for the success of this mission, and when he looked at himself and at the size of the calling, he panicked and replied “My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”
Most of us have been there and done that. We forget the providence, promises and power of God. Instead we jump to situational conclusions forgetting that we’ve been empowered by the Spirit of God. Gideon isn’t a hero, nor was he called to be. We aren’t called to be heroes either. We have no heroic qualities within ourselves. But we still can act with faith, courage, and hope, because like Gideon and Desmond Doss, it’s the Lord who sends us and the Lord who will be with us every step of the way.
- Do we need to be a hero to share our faith with others? How is God with us when we share our faith with others?
- What would we do different this week if we were absolutely confident that God is with us?