Mighty warrior, what are your plans for today? Maybe you don’t see yourself as a mighty warrior but as a weak, exhausted infantryman slugging it out in the trenches…no glory…no awards.

God called Gideon a mighty warrior before he sent him into battle! Why would the Almighty choose someone who was doubtful and afraid to save Israel from the Midianites? I’d call him an unlikely candidate for the assignment; God called him a mighty warrior.

The story in Judges 6-8 (NIV) is a cliff-hanger. One brave man with 300 soldiers going to battle against the strong army of Midian.

Backstory: the Israelites had done evil and the Lord delivered them into the hands of the Midianites for seven years.

“Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel…they invaded the land to ravage it. Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.”

Gideon enters the story. As he threshes wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites, an angel of the Lord comes and sits down under the oak tree and speaks to him.

“The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

If that happened to me, I probably would have said, “Who are you and what are you talking about?”

Gideon doesn’t ask for identification. He just responds to the statement. “But sir, 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.”

Notice that right up front, Gideon asks why. Knowing Israel’s history, he expected wonders such as generations before him had seen and concluded the Lord had abandoned Israel.

The Lord sort of ignores his comments and says, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

Go in the strength you have! His confidence would be in the One who assigned the task. “Am I not sending you?”

Gideon offers logical reasons for hesitating to accept this mission. “My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

The Lord answers, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”

Gideon wants proof the mission will be successful: “I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.’ And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

“Then Gideon said to God, ‘Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one mmore test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.’ That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.”

The response to Gideon’s call for men to join him in battle is amazing—32,000. But the Lord doesn’t want Midian to think Israel’s strength defeated them. He instructs Gideon to reduce the number to 300. Long story short:

“Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted their heads no more. And the country was quiet for forty years…”

My favorite line from this intriguing story is this: “Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it” (Judges 8:4).

My favorite line from Gideon's story is this: “Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it” (Judges 8:4). Click To Tweet

Are you there today? You’ve done everything you know to do, given more that you thought you had to give, endured more than you believed you could endure. But you refuse to give up. You are exhausted but still in pursuit.

Mighty warrior, don’t lose heart. God is with you. His strength is adequate for the task. All Gideon had to go on was the word of the Lord. And it was enough.

Mighty warrior, don’t lose heart. God is with you. His strength is adequate for the task. All Gideon had to go on was the word of the Lord. And it was enough. Click To Tweet

Seek the Lord for direction. And then keep moving forward. No glory. No awards. But the One who chose you is with you and he will crown your efforts with success.

Would you tell me how the Lord has encouraged you to persevere despite your exhaustion? And please share this with your friends!

© Dianne Barker 2020

Please follow and like us: