Apr 1 (Daily reading: Judges 6-7) Today’s commentary comes from my book, “We Love Because God First Loved Us,” (pages 112-113).
God called Gideon to be a leader of His people. God’s first words to him were words of encouragement: “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior” (Judg. 6:12). God knew what Gideon needed to hear because he was young and full of doubt. “The Lord looked at him and said, ‘Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?’” (6:14). Gideon required lots of convincing, and when he finally accepted the assignment, things got even worse. God reduced the Israeli army to three hundred men!
But then God did an incredible thing to encourage Gideon. He told him to go into the camp of the enemy: “You will hear what they say, and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp” (7:11). Gideon and his servant arrived secretly just in time to overhear a conversation between two enemy soldiers. One was telling the other about his dream, how that a loaf of bread had tumbled into the camp, striking a tent and knocking it flat. To this, his friend replied, “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and all the camp into his hand” (7:14).
With this encouraging word ringing in his ears, Gideon first bowed in worship and then returned to his men and said, “Arise, for the Lord has given the camp of Midian into your hands” (7:15). He had grown from a doubting, fearful young man to the valiant warrior that God knew he could be! He said to his army of three hundred men, with the confidence of God’s encouragement in his heart, “Look at me and do likewise…do as I do” (7:17). That is an awesome statement! As the word of God encourages us, we become encouragers to those around us!
– Al Gary