Go when God says go!
You already have enough strength to do what God is telling you to do.
Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
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Go when God says go!
Gideon receives a visit from a very special person; the angel of the LORD. Some say that this person is a special messenger from heaven, possibly the archangel Gabriel. However, verses like the one above that in the Hebrew use the proper name of God, Yahweh, would lead us to see this as a Christophany, the physical appearance of the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ.
God had told the Israelites that if they rebelled against Him and turned to worship the false gods of the land they were occupying, that He would hand them over to enemies that would oppress them. That is exactly what has happened at the point in history in which this account relates. The Midianites regularly come in and steal their crops and cause havoc in Israel. Finally, they cry out to God for help and He responds by appearing to Gideon. The LORD addresses Gideon as ‘Mighty hero’. The LORD saw him as He was going to be, not as he was.
Gideon didn’t consider himself a hero. In our verse, the LORD tells Gideon to go and defeat the Midianites. He then assures Gideon by telling him that He was going with Gideon. At first Gideon is not sure that God is really going to do what He said and asks for proof, which to my surprise the LORD provides to Gideon.
The LORD tells Gideon to go with the strength that he had. That is one of the fascinating parts of this verse. What strength did Gideon have? If he had had any real strength, he might already be doing something to resist the Midianites rather than hiding in the bottom of a winepress threshing grain. To Gideon, this task was far beyond any puny strength he might have.
We all know the rest of the story. God uses Gideon and a small band of Israelites to route the Midianite army. All the work was done by God, Gideon and his little army were allowed to be in the front row to watch what God was doing.
How much strength do you have? How much strength do you need to have to do the thing that God has told you to do? According to this verse you already have enough strength to do what God is telling you to do. The question then is, ‘Will you obey?’
Gideon did and was allowed to participate in a great victory for the LORD. As small as your strength is, it is all you need when it is coupled with the LORD’s strength and His command to ‘Go.’ Your little bit of strength and obedience combined with the LORD’s infinite strength is a recipe for victory every time. Jesus, teach us to trust and obey.