April 5, 2020
“The Lord turned to (Gideon) and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” – Judges 6:14
Have you ever felt powerless? In today’s global battle against COVID-19, it’s certainly easy to feel powerless: economic fears, jobs furloughed, jobs lost, cities and nations on lockdown, loved-ones sick. What was normal a few weeks ago looks drastically different today.
If anyone could relate to feeling powerless and struggling to trust God in the interim, it was Gideon. In Judges 6, we meet Gideon during severe oppression at the hands of the Midianites. For seven years they had been reduced to hiding out in the mountains and caves, struggling to survive (Judges 6:4). Talk about feeling powerless.
One day, God sent an angel to Gideon: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” Gideon, who at the time had been threshing wheat in a winepress to keep out of sight, probably didn’t feel like a mighty warrior. In fact, he would later remind God that he came from the weakest clan and was himself the least of his family (Judges 6:15). “Mighty warrior,” he was not.
Plus, after seven years of suffering, Gideon had a lot of questions. “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? …The Lord has abandoned us.” In other words, Gideon was asking what many of us might be asking God right now: What happened? Where are you?
Look how God responds in verse 14: ‘The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?… I will be with you” (Judges 6: 14, 16a). In other words, God tells Gideon to go – as he is – and trust HIM to fill in the gap. Reluctantly, Gideon obeys. Sure enough, God comes through in a miraculous way! Gideon became the mighty warrior that God saw in him and led a vastly outnumbered army to victory against the Midianites. (Please take the time to read the full story in Judges 7)
We all go through seasons of feeling powerless and losing hope. Perhaps the current COVID-19 crisis is testing your faith today. If so, then be encouraged by Gideon’s story and remember:
God is more powerful than even the biggest obstacle.
God sees things (in us and in life’s circumstances) that we cannot.
God loves to use seemingly hopeless situations for HIS glory.
How will God use you during this season of uncertainty?