God’s Calling is Empowerment Not Extortion

Dan Sullivan   -  

[16] And the LORD said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”

[17] And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. [18] Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.”

[19] So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. [20] And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. [21] Then the angel of the LORD reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight.

Judges 6:16–21 ESV Read More

Gideon couldn’t believe that God was actually calling him to fight against all of the Midianites. Israel didn’t have anything close to a trained army. Much less, they were all starving because of the Midianites’ oppression. No food, no tools, no livestock left them scavenging for years.

Gideon offers this messenger a sacrifice. Considering how hungry and desperate they were, this offering was a BIG DEAL. They didn’t have many goats and they didn’t have a great supply of flour. When he asked the messenger to wait, he was asking him to wait for a while. It took time for Gideon to prepare that offering and the whole time he had to be thinking through “We will strike the Midianites as one man? Really? Me?”

There are other places in the scriptures where a man tries to worship and angel and the angel says “Stop, I’m a servant of God just like you,” but that doesn’t happen here. Why? Because this isn’t a servant of God. The Messenger that has shown up is God Himself. It says it’s an angel in a few spots, which means ‘messenger’ so it flips around a little bit. Either way, the Being that showed up had the authority of God and was worthy of a sacrifice. God wouldn’t share that with anything else.

Gideon asked in the first place “Where are the signs that happened to our forefathers?” And now he has seen it. A miraculous fire out in the open on a rock is quite the opposite of threshing wheat in the floor of a winepress. Gideon has now seen who is sending him and has opportunity to believe it and act or make more excuses and wait.

With Moses, Barak and Jael, and now with Gideon, God is compassionate and kind even in His calling. He sees us how He sees us and calls us by those names, but He’ll patiently wait for us to have faith to believe what He says. He took His time with Gideon until Gideon had faith to trust God.

God is taking His time with every one of us today, calling out, encouraging, and patiently waiting for us to trust Him.

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