He was a plain farmer. He was also an outcast and was the lowest class in society. He had one of the poorest paying jobs…if it paid at all. And he had to hide to protect himself.
It was an ordinary day like every other one. Just another.Long.Day. He rose with the sun and went to work…in a pit under some nearby trees so he wouldn’t be seen by the upper and middle classes who’d hurt him just because they didn’t think he was good enough or worthy for anything. He had to work quietly so they wouldn’t be able to find him.
But he didn’t know this day would be different. This day was the beginning of a day that would not be soon forgotten. It was a day he would have never imagined.
He stopped to rest a moment to give his arms, shoulders and back a break from threshing wheat. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down.
Isn’t life like that sometimes? It becomes monotonous, even laboring, and the future doesn’t look too bright.
But as he went to get some shade under the big oak tree, to his startling surprise, a man was sitting there. But he wasn’t a man he had ever seen before. He’d never seen a man look like this man did.
He was different yet captivating. Was he an angel?
And to his surprise again, this stranger who showed up out of no where said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
Honestly, if it had been me, I probably would’ve laughed in his face.
“Me, a mighty warrior? I don’t think so.”
But this visitor said, “Go in the strength you have and save your people from your enemies.”
He asked the stranger, “How can I save our country? Our clan is the weakest of all. I don’t see how it can be done.”
Aren’t those words such an easy cop out to say? I don’t see how it can be done.
The Visitor simply, yet convincingly said again, “I’ll be with you. I promise.”
He’s starting to believe this visitor means what he’s saying. He realized this has become a divine moment. This once lavish and fruitful country he and his relatives were from had fallen to pieces and the people needed to be rescued and redeemed. Could this really be Someone who’d save them? This Someone could really use me to help?
He wanted to talk to this visitor in more detail and thank him for this intriguing charge he’s been given. This must be the Holy One. He wanted to feed him the best he could find and offer to him as a sign of gratitude. He wanted to know more about this invitation…or command.
So he tells this visitor, “Please don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”
The visitor said, “I will wait until you return.” Judges 6:18
That’s what God said to Gideon and that’s what He says to each of us.
I’m not going anywhere until you come back to me.”
God cares enough to wait. This Visitor – God - waited patiently as he went and took the time to prepare him a meal with the best food he had. God had also told him he is a mighty warrior and wanted him to lead in a battle to rescue their country. God knows we’re not capable enough to win battles alone. But that’s where He’s comes in and is more than strong enough to cover for our weaknesses. Yet he still has confidence in us to do our part.
That’s how a plain ‘ole farmer, Gideon, led a small army into a big battle and came out the champs, delivering the Israelites from Midian.
And God is continuing to wait until we, his believers, come to the realization of how much He trusts us and can use us to go into battle and come out victorious to restore his kingdom.
(Whoa. That just make my heart skip a beat when my fingers finished typing that sentence.)
Gideon had also asked God while they were together…"Why haven’t you recently given us miraculous things like you did to my forefathers like Moses who delivered the people from slavery in Egypt?”
The visitor, or God, replied, “Am I not sending you? You are the salvation I am sending. You are the great deed-doer I am sending. You are my Moses for this generation.”
And how ironic, (or maybe a God Moment?), how I recently read this other quote by Robert Benson with the same urgency as the previous one I just quoted from Tim Keller.
“Rabbi Zusya, one of the great wisdom teachers of the Hebrew tradition, once said, ‘In the world to come I shall not be asked: Why were you not Moses? I shall be asked: Why were you not Zusya?”
The will of the One who sent us is that we be the ones who were sent.
What we do is meant to be lived out of the context of discovering and becoming the person we are, who God created us to be.
God won’t ask me, “Why weren’t you Moses? Why weren’t you Esther? Why weren’t you Mother Theresa? Why weren’t you Beth Moore?
God can ask me though, “Why were you not Beth Hildebrand? The only Beth Hildebrand I created you to be.”
I see myself being Gideon, just going around doing my own day- to- day responsibilities (and hiding while at it) and God just shows up. He waits for me to sit with him and have a conversation – a heart to heart - but I often choose to check Facebook instead. He waits for me to go and invite a friend who doesn’t have a relationship with God to go out to lunch, but I invite a good friend from church instead. He waits for me to volunteer some of my time and heart into the community, but I’m just too busy shopping for a good deal. He waits to hear me say out loud, “Yes, I’ll do anything for You!” but those words just haven’t been able to come out yet because I’m too nervous of what He’ll tell me to do.
Who did you create me to be, Lord, in this world – this country – that’s ignoring, rebuking and denouncing You? Don’t you want all of us to be the Moses, the Gideon of this generation where we step out of our comfort zone of “plain and ordinary” lives and be willing to fight battles to help bring deliverance to those who desperately need Jesus but don’t know it or won’t accept it?
I’m thankful to be on this journey and to be given the promise that God is still patiently waiting for me - this me that’s been known to strive for human approval more than God’s approval. I’m still bound and determined as I discover more of who I am, who I am becoming, who I was created to be, and that I’m more willing to be me.
I don’t want to hear Him ask me in the world to come, “Why weren’t you Beth Hildebrand?”. I want to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)
Are you willing to be the Moses or Gideon of this generation? Have you already discovered who you are and are making a kingdom impact? Are you still discovering who you are, who you’re becoming, and who you’ve been created to be? I’d love to hear your thoughts, welcoming comments below!