Dianne Barker here again with my friend Gideon. Remember, God chose him to save Israel from the Midianites and called him a mighty warrior…while he was doubtful and afraid (see October 17, 2016 blog post).
We’ll pick up the story as Gideon prepares to carry out the mission (Judges 6-8). Being a journalist, I’m claiming literary license to interview this courageous hero. Our conversation might have gone like this.
Q: Gideon, you asked for double confirmation—wet fleece, dry fleece—to prove this mission was from the Lord. What was the game-changer for you—the one factor that gave you confidence to move forward?
A: The angel had assured, “The Lord is with you.” Yes, I was careful to make certain the assignment came from him. After that, there was no turning back. The Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and I called men to join me in taking up arms.
Q: The response was amazing—32,000 men. But as you prepared for battle, the Lord did the unthinkable. He instructed you to reduce the number from 32,000 to 300 men. Weren’t you terrified going to battle with such a small army?
A: I was more baffled than terrified, but I figured the all-powerful sovereign Lord didn’t even need 300 men. Maybe he just allowed the 300 men to bolster my courage.
Q: You fought bravely, once skirmish after another. Did you ever grow weary?
A: Absolutely. I admit it. When we crossed the Jordan, we were exhausted but still in pursuit.
Q: How did you manage to stay the course?
A: I had a calling from God. He gave clear instructions. And he never abandoned me.
Q: Tell us the outcome.
A: “Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted their heads no more. And the country was quiet for forty years…”
Don’t you appreciate Gideon’s perseverance? My favorite line from this intriguing story is this: “When Gideon came to the Jordan, he and the three hundred men who were with him crossed over, exhausted but still in pursuit” (Judges 8:4 NKJV).
Exhausted but still in pursuit. I’ve been in that place. Haven’t you? You’ve done everything you knew to do, given more that you thought you had to give, endured more than you believed you could endure. But you’re persevering…exhausted but still in pursuit.
Bravo! If God is with you, you can do it! Don’t lose heart!
Lessons from Gideon:
- He was an ordinary man chosen by the Lord for an extraordinary mission.
- He didn’t have an exemplary spiritual heritage (his father worshiped idols).
- He had faith in the God of his ancestors.
- He wasn’t too timid to engage in conversation with the Lord about his doubts and fears.
- He made practical decisions in difficult circumstances.
- He boldly requested confirmation this plan was from the Lord.
- He obeyed the Lord, trusting him for the outcome.
- He refused to give up.
All Gideon had to go on was the word of the Lord. Enough.
One day we’ll give an account for how we spent this life. I want to say, “Lord, I arrived here exhausted but still in pursuit.”
Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.