December 4 (Daily reading: 2 Corinthians 1-4) When I was a young preacher still in the seminary, I put the story of Gideon and 2 Corinthians 4:7 together. I may have heard it preached or read it, or the Lord may have given it to me. Whatever, it became mine for the following fifty plus years! Paul is explaining why we do not lose heart in our ministry. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” That is the bad news that might make us lose heart. Here is the good news: “God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (4:1-6).
God’s instructions to Gideon in Judges 6 are an illustration of how “light shall shine out of darkness.” After God had reduced his army to three hundred soldiers, Gideon “put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers” (v. 16). On Gideon’s signal, they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, shouting, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” When the huge enemy army heard the trumpets and the shouting, and saw the lights that burst forth, they cried out as they fled. They were easily defeated.
Read again 2 Corinthians 4:7 (with added notes): “We have this treasure (Christ) in earthen vessels (our lives), so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” When our lives are broken and submitted to God, His light will shine out of us, and everyone will know that the victory has come by the power of God!
– Al Gary