A reluctant but obedient hero

02.02.2020

 

Gideon said to Him: “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?"
(Judges 6:13 NKJV)

The story of Gideon, fifth in the series of twelve judges in the book of the same name, is one of those that has always caught my attention. It must be said that the Hebrew term "judge" expresses a slightly different idea from that of a magistrate or one who administers justice. It is, in fact, a charismatic hero or leader, called by God to free the people of Israel from adverse situations and external enemies. Of the twelve judges Gideon is the first warrior hero. It belonged to the tribe of Manasseh, to the clan of Abiezer, son of Joash of Ofra, a town a few kilometers east of Samaria. In his day, the country is periodically raided by the Midianites, together with the Amalekites and other Eastern peoples, and the people are increasingly reduced to misery. Whenever they emerged from the desert, the Israelites took refuge in terror in the ravines and caves of the mountains, almost paralyzed by fear. The book of Judges traces the oppression to Israel's guilt of abandoning its God (Judges 6:1), who does not remain indifferent but intervenes for the cry of his people.

The Lord enters the scene, going to call a completely insignificant young man and without any power. Gideone is threshing, he cannot do without it and to survive he must overcome the fear of being discovered by the oppressors. It does this by placing itself not on the farmyard, where it would have been easily seen, but secretly in the wine press (the vineyard cellar). It is found in this ravine, when the angel of the Lord reveals himself under an oak tree in the field and greets him by calling him "mighty man of valor". How is it possible? Are you looking at Gideon or someone else? The young man is not surprised by the divine presence, on the contrary he responds by removing his grievances, first on why the people are experiencing that condition and then on the choice that has fallen on their person. He has the opportunity to let off steam, to give voice to his lament towards those who still speak about God. When situations are adverse, when conditions are very bad, when dawn does not wait for sunset and vice versa, God does not find space in thoughts and waiting. And then he asks himself: “Where is he at? Where did it go? Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” (6:14).

Rather than whimpering about what you're going through, instead of downloading the blame for what you're experiencing to the One who rules everything, wrap the tape, because most likely the causes lie elsewhere. Whatever the origin of evil, what there is to do in the present is to go and face it, having full confidence in one's means and counting on divine assistance. When I think about Gideon, I try to fall into what he felt at that moment. The force you are using to thresh, you can use it to deal with the problem, the enemy. Not only will your action save you, but it will be the trigger to save the people. And if God is with you who will be against you? Get out of the bottleneck, leave Ofrah's camp. In the eyes of the Lord you too are "mighty of valor". There will be doubts. The hesitation will accompany you. The continuum of the story says that Gideon asks for repeated signs to be sure of what he has heard. He does not doubt the word of God, but questions that that word is addressed precisely to him. Shrewd, fearful, caring ... for me one who does not want to do his own thing. We do the same.

 


Devotional 6/2020
Weekly Bible reading plan

February 03, Exodus 31-33; Matthew 22:1-22
February 04, Exodus 34-35; Matthew 22:23-46
February 05,Exodus 36-38; Matthew 23:1-22
February 06, Exodus 39-40; Matthew 23:23-39
February 07, Leviticus 1-3; Matthew 24:1-28
February 08, Leviticus 4-5; Matthew 24:29-51
February 09, Leviticus 6-7; Matthew 25:1-30

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