Devotional: April 23, 2020
One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!”
Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian.”
But God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”
Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”
God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.”
Judges 6: 11-16 The Message
Do you ever feel like the odds are stacked against you? Do you view chances of success as slim to none? If so, then take heart! You have good company!
The story of Gideon is a story about beating the odds. No human being would have picked Gideon to rescue his people, the Israelites, from their oppression by the Midianites.
In this conversation between the angel and Gideon, Gideon exhibits practically no faith at all, either in God, or in himself! He even calls himself “the runt of the litter!” Yet God chose him anyway. Even the angel’s greeting, “God is with you, O Mighty Warrior!” would have floored Gideon. He certainly didn’t feel like he was mighty, or a warrior.
Yet God proved faithful to His word. Against all odds, God used Gideon to rescue and save His people.
Described in Judges 7, the battle is notable because God intentionally wanted a very small force to go against the Midianites. The Lord whittled down the force from 30,000 warriors to only 300. Then, the instrument of victory was not even a sword, it was the trumpets sounded by the 300! It was the ultimate and most unlikely victory!
So when you feel like you are facing an uphill battle, (as most of us may at this time), an impossible situation, or long odds, just remember the example of Gideon. With God on his side, even this self-described “runt of the litter” found victory in the Lord! Praise God that our Lord does the impossible. With God, all things are possible! Hallelujah!
Thank you for always being with us, even when the circumstances feel overwhelming. Sometimes, we lack confidence in You, and in ourselves. Help us to remember the truth that You never abandon us. You are with us in times of joy, and also in the challenges and battles we face. Grant us victory, even when we have trouble believing in ourselves. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.