“And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord, is with us, why then is all this befallen us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, Did not the Lord brings us up out of Egypt? But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian. The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6: 12 – 14).
The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord again, and He gave them into the hands of their enemies. The Midianites, Ammonites and other Eastern people oppressed Israel so greatly, they invaded their land, spoilt their crops and made life unbearable for them. The Israelites cried unto the Lord and He heard them and sent an Angel to give a word of hope to Gideon who He had chosen as their deliverer. Gideon could not believe the Lord was with Israel because of the difficult time the people were going through. He almost could not hear what God was saying to him personally concerning his call because of the situation of the people God was calling him to deliver. Have you ever been in a situation in which you found it very difficult to believe that God cares, or He still answers the prayers of His people? Gideon was in that situation. Gideon who was going to be a great judge and deliverer in Israel saw the sufferings and the oppression in the hands of the enemies as indications that God had forgotten the people (Israelites) He so much loved and cherished.
1.       “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him”:  It is always an awesome experience for any man who God decides to visit in a special way. There has never been a man who received God’s visitation and remained the same. When God visits a man, He changes his history, gives him a message and a vision or an assignment.  The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon while he was doing something that looked unspiritual in an unpopular place to commit a spiritual assignment to him.  “…Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress…..” (Judges 6:11). Gideon had a lot of doubts in this encounter. At first, he could not believe it was an angel that appeared to him. Gideon may have imagined in his mind, how possible it was for an Angel to appear so casually to a poor man who was not in the temple worshipping or doing spiritual things but rather involved in a menial task. These calculations and analysis almost made Gideon miss God’s divine purpose for his life. Thank God for the Angel who was so patient with Gideon, even when he asked for signs to be sure it was really an Angel of God. The problem that could hinder the accomplishment of God’s purpose in His visitation in our lives is never with Him but with us
2.       “The Lord is with thee thou mighty man of valour”: There is nothing as precious and assuring as having God’s presence with us. Men of God who did exploit in the Bible had this common thing ‘The presence of God’,“The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered…” (Genesis 39:2). It is the presence of the Lord that guarantees our prosperity in whatever we do in life either spiritual or physical. The presence of God carries victory, blessings, peace and so on. The Angel knew that the main thing that Gideon needed to succeed in the task that is about to be given him was the presence of God, so he assured him of God’s presence. It was a word to strengthen Gideon’s faith and prepare him for the task, though Gideon did not believe God was with him because of the situation of his people.And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord, is with us, why then is all this befallen”.Gideon saw problems bigger than possibilities; he saw the past problems and not the present solutions. Gideon based his assessment on the general dealings of God with Israel, and not on the personal dealings of God with him. Gideon was behind the event of things as God had opened a new page in the history of Israel which Gideon was unaware of.  The second thing that the Angel told Gideon was that he’s a mighty man of valour. “Oh! How can a man like me be a mighty man of valour?” that was Gideon’s answer. Gideon considered his family background and his status in the family and felt that the Angel must have made a mistake, to be calling him a mighty man of valour.  The Lord assured Gideon that He was not only with him, but He will be with him. That was all that Gideon needed to deliver Israel.
3.       “Go in the strength you have”: Strength is the ability that enables us to work and achieve results. There are so many kinds of strengths: physical and spiritual, visible and invisible. Some strengths are natural talents, some are spiritual gifts, while some are acquired through training or labour.  Everyone has strength in one area or the other. Beyond other purposes, strengths are to be used to serve and glorify God.  The Angel told Gideon, that God had given enough strength to deliver Israel; God had given him enough strength for the task he was called to do. The Lord has called every one of us to play one role or the other, so as to advance His kingdom on earth, but some of us often complain of not having enough strength. Some people are called to be preachers, but they complain they have not been to any theological school, some are called to be Christian counselors, but they complain of not having adequate training. Mission work is one of kingdom tasks that people, who are called to it, often complain about. Those who are called to go sometimes complain about their family, those called to pray complain about feeble knees and those called to give complain about lack of finance. God says to you this day, “Go in the strength you have and play your role in cross cultural missions”. “And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” ( Deuteronomy 10:12).
Matthew Olorunnaiye