Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

God Uses the Unqualified


Judges 6:13  Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites."


Who Forsook Whom?

The children of Israel had once again done evil in the sight of the Lord and were now in bondage to the Midianites.  But the Lord had his eye on a man who could deliver the children of Israel.  This man didn’t see himself as a Savior.  He didn’t think his ancestry gave him any special power, rights or privilege.  His own father had an altar to Baal.  He didn’t think he was qualified to deliver the children of Israel from the bondage of the Midianites.  However, God saw it differently.


At the beginning of this story, Gideon is found threshing wheat and hiding it from the Midianites.  He was doing what he could.  While he was threshing, he was also wondering where the God was that had done such miracles for Israel in the past.  When the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, it didn’t appear to him like “the Lord was with Israel.”  He thought they had been completely forsaken.  But the Lord had not forsaken them, they had forsaken Him.  Now the Lord wanted a man to deliver them and He was choosing a man who thought himself to be totally unqualified.


God Wants Israel to Know that He is their Savior rather than some Man

Gideon was a typical Jew and needed a sign to know that God was speaking to him.  So the Angel of the Lord brought fire out of a rock and consumed Gideon’s sacrifice in a most miraculous way.  But Gideon also needed another sign.  So he asked God to have a fleece on the threshing floor get wet during the night while the threshing floor remained dry. God did this for him. But then he must have realized that someone could have poured water on the fleece so he asked for a second sign.  He wanted the fleece to be dry and the threshing floor wet.  The Lord obliged and did what he asked.  Gideon also needed to cleanse himself from Baal worship even though that meant destroying his father’s idol.  This is probably what the Lord means in the New Testament when He says a disciple must hate his father and mother, that is, family cannot be more important than obeying the Lord.


Gideon is now Ready (Almost)

So now Gideon and his army are ready to go.  But the army is too large even though it was only 32,000 men.  So first those who are afraid are sent home.  I would have been in that bunch of 22, 000.  They had underestimated God.  But then the Lord wanted to know how they would drink out of water that was available to them.  Some got down on their knees and put their mouths in the water.  Others brought the water up to their mouths with their hands and lapped it.  Those who got down on their knees to drink couldn’t keep their eye on the enemy while drinking.  9700 men underestimated the enemy. Those who lapped could keep their eye on the enemy.  That left 300 who knew the power of God, but they also knew the power of the enemy.  But Gideon still needed more encouragement.


The Enemy knows More about God than the Believer Does at Times

The Lord sent Gideon down into the camp of the Midianites to hear the dream of one in the camp. He hears a man tell a dream to his companion and the companion tells the man the interpretation which Gideon hears.  The Lord has revealed to the enemy that Gideon is about to destroy them.  Now Gideon is finally ready.  Isn’t it nice to know that when the Lord wants to use us, He doesn’t give up on us, even when we continue to question His power and ability?


A Unique Battle Plan

Gideon arms his 300 men chosen by God with a trumpet in their right hand and a torch in a pticher in their left hands.  That didn’t leave much room for a sword or a spear.  As a matter of fact, holding up a trumpet and pitcher just might look like a person on a cross.  When they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, the whole army of the Midianites became confused and they fought each other and then fled.  Obviously, the victory was not Gideon’s but the Lord’s.


Is there Application to Us?

We could probably win a lot of battles as Christians if we would allow the Lord to do the fighting.  The trumpets would speak of preaching and warning.  The pitchers would speak of true believers who are broken so that the light of the Gospel can be seen in their lives. If we need encouragement to do what the Lord asks us to do, the Lord will give it so long as we are not testing Him but testing whether we are truly understanding His will.  And we need to remember that the enemy is not dumb.  The enemy knows that the Lord wins.  That should give us confidence to preach grace and truth and to show that grace and truth through lives that have been broken so that the light of the Lord can shine through. 


The Lord has been and will be victorious. 


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of April 17, 2016

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