We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Nate Hemphill.
Judges 6:11-1811 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 And the Lord[a] turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 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.”
Has anyone ever spoken a word of encouragement over you that lit a spark causing you to believe? There may have been no evidence to show for that spoken word at the time, but because you put trust in the person who said it, those words had transformative power. We can see this dynamic spark take place in the life of Gideon; a man who was short on courage. In today’s scripture passage we find Gideon threshing wheat in hiding – in a winepress. Typically the threshing of wheat, the beating of the wheat stalks would take place in an open area where the breeze of the wind would blow away the chaff. Gideon’s decision to work in the winepress was a calculated decision to avoid been seen by the oppressive Midianites. His life and possessions were in danger. In this hiding place Gideon had an encounter with an angel of God in the form of a man.
The man called to Gideon saying “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” You might imagine Gideon looking over his shoulder to see if there was someone else that this angel might be referring to. When the words set in Gideon questioned the words pointing to all of the circumstances to the contrary. The Israelites at this time were being punished due to disobedience to God. But true to His word, God heard their cries and repentance. Now God was calling on Gideon to lead the charge to free them once more.
Gideon went on to lead a very small company of only 300 men to defeat a massive Midianite army. It all started with one encounter with God and His spoken word. God saw something inside of Gideon that was not apparent to anyone else. Even when Gideon asked God for further proof of his direction, God patiently gave Gideon signs along the way to confirm his word. The spoken word of God is a powerful force that dispels lies, overcomes obstacles and defeats insurmountable odds! What does God call you?
Lord God, I feel very much like Gideon did when you spoke to him. I am short of courage and my circumstances look bleak. Would you help me to hear the words of transformation that I need to hear? Speak into my spirit and tell me who I am – who you’ve made me to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Scripture points us to numerous stories where God chooses the weak to overcome the strong. This is probably because God knows that those who lack are the most aware of their need for Him. Where in your life do you feel weak, disadvantaged, underprivileged? Pray today that God would speak a transformative word into your life today. When you receive this new word, write it down and believe that it will come about.
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