Gideon has been given the call to “Go, deliver Israel from Midian” but he’s not too keen on the idea. He responds with another question: “How can I deliver Israel?” and follows that with a two statements that portray “mighty” Gideon as pretty humble: “My clan is the weakest and I’m the least in my family.” (Perhaps, he’s just trying to avoid the call of God?)
Israel is weak (they are getting their butts kicked by Midian), Gideon’s tribe (Manasseh) is weak, his clan is the weakest among’s Manasseh’s clans, and if all that wasn’t bad enough, Gideon is even more pathetic than all his brothers.
If I were YHWH, I would have said, “Yeah, I don’t think this is going to work.” What does God see in this guy anyway?
God sees a guy that he can use to accomplish his purposes. He sees a guy who knows he’s going to need help.
Do you ever feel like Gideon, the least, the weakest?
I don’t. At least not very often. (OK, nine days when playing golf.) That’s the problem. I don’t usually think I need help. I feel pretty self-sufficient. I needed help when I was trying to finish my doctorate before Oxford kicked me out. I needed help when I was look for an academic teaching job. But now, things are pretty good, I’ve got this book that people still seem to want to buy. Maybe I’m weird, or perhaps this is just a guy-thing? But most people seem to be pretty self-sufficient. Our culture makes us that way.
What things can one do to put oneself in a place of need, a bit like Gideon, to become more aware of one’s dependency upon God?
Image: An 18th century Russian icon of Gideon (I think).