The beginning chapters of the book of Judges record some of the darkest times in Israel’s history. After mightily defeating the enemy under Joshua’s leadership, Israel failed to maintain a close walk with God. In fact, over the next 200 years they remained in a cycle of sin, suffering, supplication, and deliverance. Their sin always brought hardship and suffering. When they cried out to the Lord for deliverance from their oppressor, He faithfully delivered them.
Many Christians find themselves in this same cycle today. They want to live in the victory God has promised but instead of totally defeating their enemy they tolerate the weakness that hinders them, making peace with their enemy. Before long, they are again struggling with the sin from which they had previously been delivered. Their lives are simply a series of frustrations, interspersed with a brief time of relief. They are simply trying to survive.
God does not want us to just survive. He does not expect us to cope with the problems of life. He has made us conquers over our enemies!
In Judges 6, Israel was being terrorized by the Midianites who destroyed their crops before they could be harvested. God’s people had conquered the land with great power, yet once again they cowered in terror and hid in caves. What a pitiful sight.
Huddled behind a winepress, Gideon tried to thresh a little wheat for his family. Then he heard an angel say, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor” (v. 12). Those words began the most exciting adventure Gideon could have imagined. God was not looking for a man with natural ability. He needed a man who was willing to take Him at His Word and follow His instructions. Gideon was that kind of man.
Although Gideon considered himself weak, God demonstrated His confidence by calling him a “mighty man of valor.” The Lord sees very differently from what others see. The Lord sees us differently than others do. He even sees us differently than we see ourselves. But what is important is that we know with God on our side we can become a mighty man or woman of valor, just like Gideon.
Strength, power, and wealth are all implied in the word valor. God sees us clothed with His strength, power, and wealth. Before we recognize His power flowing in us, He already sees us flowing in His power. We have been created in Christ, the Anointed One, to walk in dimensions of His greatness that the kingdom of darkness cannot survive. It is time to rise up and allow the King of Glory to flow in and through us.
The Lord used a mere 300 men to fight against 450,000 Midianites and delivered Israel against impossible odds. Vastly outnumbered, the 300 man army led by Gideon went forth with God’s plan using horns and lanterns to defeat the enemy. Not terribly conventional, but extremely effective! God caused the enemy to fight against one another without Gideon’s army fighting at all. God will bring victory to those who obey Him, even against impossible odds.