But sir, Gideon replied, “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
“But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” Judges 6:13-16 NIV
Have you ever questioned God? Have you looked at your life, your circumstances, and said, “God, I don’t understand, this doesn’t make sense?” I am grateful for the stories of Gideon, Job, Moses and others who questioned God, and his commands to them. I am also grateful for the stories of Mary, David, and Hannah who believed in God, and moved forward into the tasks set before them confidently, in faith, and gave God the glory. All throughout the Bible, God has chosen unlikely people to be used by him. Sometimes these people accepted his plan and his task willingly, and sometimes they agreed to the task only after much persuasion, even arguing with God.
God is incredibly gracious with Gideon. He promises to be with him (Judges 6:16), he promises him strength (Judges 6:14), he calls him a mighty warrior (Judges 6:12) even though he is threshing wheat at the time in a wine press – basically hiding. God promises him peace, that he will not die (Judges 6:23) and he promises that God and Gideon will strike down the Midianites together (Judges 6:16). There have been plenty of times in my life when I questioned God and I would have welcomed getting these kinds of promises straight from God, but for me and in my circumstances, God’s word to me was less clear, less direct. It was much more ambiguous, or he even seemed to be silent.
We could be quick to pass judgement on Gideon and his seeming lack of faith, lack of self-worth (Judges 6:15). But remember Job – he was a God-fearing man, and he questioned God and his purpose for him (Job 10:18-19) when his world came crashing down around him – for no apparent reason. Remember Moses, who came up with all kinds of reasons he was unworthy or unable to lead the Hebrew nation out of Israel Exodus 3:11-4:17), even though God also promised to be with Moses (Exodus 3:12).
I am glad the stories of these fallible people – who God used in mighty ways – are in the Bible. These stories give me hope, they remind me of God’s infinite patience with all of us and with me in particular. These people I have mentioned spent time in conversation with God, do you? God is with you, he loves you. Spend time asking God questions and conversing with him today.
By Grace Hunter