“But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, 11 and you shall hear what they say; and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Judges 7:10-11a (NKJV)
My dentist has a sign at reception saying “We cater for cowards” and they do. No one likes visiting the dentist (except maybe his wife and kids), but Dr Colthorpe makes weird teeth fixing sounds as un-scary as possible. That’s one of the reason’s I’ve been frequenting that dental surgery for the last twenty years.
I love the story of Gideon (Judges 6-8). Here is one of the biggest chickens in Israel and God asks him to face, fight and defeat 120,000 men with just 300 men. Yes, that’s not a typo; it is one hundred and twenty thousand men versus three hundred men!
When the Angel of the Lord comes to Gideon He says “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valour!” or in modern-day terms “Hey you super hero you, with secret God powers!” To which Gideon replies “Who me? Not me. You must be thinking of someone else man…. And I’m a sceptic, are you REALLY an Angel from God? If so prove it!” So Gideon gets God to prove that
a) It really is God talking to him;
b) He really wants Gideon to do this great deed; and
c) God is really going to help Gideon win.
Gideon asks God to prove it not one or twice but three times!!! And God does. It is so typical of the amazing patience and graciousness of God, that the Maker of the Universe, who doesn’t have to prove Himself to anyone or anything, would take the time to reassure this chicken of a man three times that He is God.
Then the extra crazy gracious thing happens when Gideon finally believes God. He has his three hundred men ready to go and is peacefully sleeping, when God kicks in His extra special confirmation. God wakes Gideon up, tells him to take a friend (as little girls like to do) and sends them to the middle of the enemy camp. There they hear about a dream God gave an enemy soldier that predicts that God will use Gideon to wipe out the enemy completely. (Judges 7:9-15) Crazy… but precious. Then Gideon totally believed, was full of faith and led the Israel contingent in annihilating the enemy.
We may not be asked to take a few hundred men to fight an enormous army but God does send us our own battles to fight and challenges to face. And when He does, it is ok to ask God to confirm His plan to us. God does cater for cowards, and sometimes that includes me and you.
Have you had a Gideon like experience in your life? Has God given you the courage to do something amazing for Him? Share your story below.
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