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From the Winepress to A Mighty Man of God

In Judges 6 we see the story of the rise of Gideon as a mighty man of God. I say rise because Gideon was not seeing God do much and in Judges 6:11-12 the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer, and the father of Gideon. Gideon was threshing wheat in the bottom of a winepress to keep from being discovered by the Midianites. The Midianites were ruthless and they would take anything they wanted from the Israelites and they were starving them out. So the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said a strange greeting to him by saying "Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!" Then in verse 13 Gideon says “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Gideon wasn't seeing much from the Lord and he was not a happy camper and actually feels abandoned by God. I have felt that before, even recently, and if you have felt this I sympathize with you. But more than that God sympathizes with you. Per the above verse the angel of the Lord said "The Lord is with you!" Just to hear that said is awesome and very comforting, but the angel didn't stop with just making Gideon "feel" better. The angel follows up with “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” What? Key words here. God is with you and go rescue Israel from the Midianites.

Of course, Gideon is doubting what he can do and the angel hasn't even shared with him that he will defeat the thousands of Midianites with only 300 men!! God is calling Gideon out of hiding in a winepress and putting him in a position to be that Mighty hero God called him. I believe there are some great lessons we can get from this story. 1. God hears our cries. Gideon had apparently been praying for God to deliver them, by miracle, from the hands of the Midianites. But nothing had happend up to the point. 2. God wants to use us and calls us to follow His plan of rescue in the situations of life. 3. God will be the power source for doing what He calls us to do and we need to follow His instructions. 4. Be faithful to follow through with God's instructions and do not doubt. 5. When God calls He will not call from a worldly perspective but from a heavenly plan.

Perhaps God is calling you to go from where you are right now to a whole new plain of service for Him. If He is calling you He will empower you to follow that calling, even though you may doubt yourself. God many times uses those who have little to offer and puts them in a place of significant leadership in His service. I know that was and is the case for me. I am humbled and thankful for God's calling on my life to full time Christian service, even with all of the hard knocks along the way. But God is faithful. He took Gideon from the winepress in a very humble situation and turned him into that Mighty hero of the nation of Israel. You just never know who God will call to do such a thing as this. Perhaps He is calling you!

The Pilgrimage continues....

David Warren

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