“Pardon me Lord, but if You are with us, why has all of this happened to us? Where are all of the miracles that happened in the past? You have abandoned us and left us at the mercy of this post-modern, consumeristic, God hating people.”
That is my paraphrase of Gideon’s words found in Judges 6:13. Gideon was hiding from his enemies and sneaking around getting some grain to make some bread. God had not done any miracles in Israel for many years. He is scared, he is alone, he feels small and weak, and he has been defeated by a conquering army. Yet, God calls Gideon in the midst of his cowardly hiding and tells him to “go in the strength he has and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.” God doesn’t even tell Gideon that He will increase his strength. Gideon is to use the strength he already has to save Israel. This doesn’t seem to be much with which to work. There does not seem to be much of a plan. God does not say, “Do it this way.” It is up to Gideon.
There is an almost awful freedom about Christ’s religion. “I do not call you servants.” He said, “for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth. I have called you friends.” As Christ’s friends, His followers are supposed to know what He wants done, and for the same reason they will try to do it–this is the whole working basis of Christianity. Surely next to its love for the chief of sinners the most touching thing about the religion of Christ is its amazing trust in the least of saints. Here is the mightiest enterprise ever launched upon this earth, mightier even than its creation, for it is its re-creation, and the carrying of it out is left, so to speak, to haphazard–to individual loyalty, to free enthusiasms, to uncoerced activities, to an uncompelled response to the pressures of God’s Spirit. Christ sets His followers no tasks. He appoints no hours. He allots no sphere. He Himself simply went about and did good. He did not stop life to do some special thing which should be called religious. His life was His religion. – Henry Drummond (17 August 1851 – 11 March 1897) a Scottish evangelist, writer and lecturer.
What have I got that I can use for God today? What strength do I have? What resources? What fear? What faith? What missiology? What ecclesiology? Who will go with me? God calls me with the same call that He gave to Gideon. “I am sending you to save the church (Israel).” I will give my little and He will fill it up.
New International Version (NIV)
11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 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?”
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”