Judges 6 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence
Perhaps many times throughout our lives we need to be reminded that we are not as important as we think we are, not as essential to God’s overall plan, and not as humble as we ought to be. But there are other times in life in which we have the opposite problem when we don’t trust that God can use us at all in certain circumstances, and we think less of ourselves than we should. In both cases, the problem is the same. We are not evaluating ourselves according to God’s standard and God’s Word but according to our own understanding, which never seems to be right.
When the angel of the Lord first called upon Gideon, he was beating out some wheat in a wine press seeking to hide his work from the plundering Midianites. The Lord had called the Israelites not to be afraid of those living in Canaan but to effectively remove them from the land. Instead, the Israelites were running in fear. Strangely, even though we perceive Gideon to be a coward in this passage, and even Gideon himself doesn’t think very highly of his own character and abilities, God views him in an entirely different light. Upon greeting him and assuring him that the Lord is with him, the angel identifies Gideon as a “mighty man of valor” before charging him to do his will. Clearly, in this case, the Lord viewed Gideon more highly than Gideon even viewed himself.
How many times in our own lives have we waffled in our own obedience unto the Lord and in our willingness to do the right thing because we thought less of ourselves than God does? Of course, I’m not suggesting that we simply need to work on our own self-esteem. No, that is not the problem. Our primary issue is not really what we think of ourselves but, rather, what we think of God’s Word. On the one hand, God says that we ought not to think too highly of ourselves in terms of our own abilities apart from God, but on the other hand, we ought not to think too little of ourselves in terms of our new capabilities via the help of God’s Spirit.
It is only as we come to see God rightly that we begin to see our own selves in the proper perspective. In these strange times in which we live, many in the world are having a hard time identifying who or even what they are. As Christians we need to remember daily that our identity, our worth, and our capabilities all come from the Lord. If wee seek to find these things in ourselves apart from God’s Word, we too will likely be confused, lost and afraid, just as Gideon was in the winepress on that day. But what an amazing difference it makes when we see ourselves rightly and walk courageously as a result.