“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.”
The book of Judges records some of the most adventurous and exhilarating events in the history of God’s people. The power of God working through these great leaders produced tremendous exploits. However, it is not just the victories that are revealed in this book. The Bible also details how the Israelites frequently forsook the Lord and His Word, resulting in their bondage and defeat. When they would call out to God, He would graciously raise up judges to lead them out of their disobedience and back to God.
In our text, the children of Israel were delivered into the hands of the Midianites because of their evil lifestyle. When Israel cried out to God, He sent an angel to visit a man by the name of Gideon, who was hiding from the Midianites and threshing wheat. The first words spoken by the angel to Gideon were, “The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” Gideon did not agree with the assessment of the angel. Gideon wanted to know why his people were in such peril if God was with them and why they were not seeing God work miraculously in their midst. However, the Lord persisted and told Gideon that he would be the man to deliver Israel from the Midianites.
Gideon certainly did not see himself as a “mighty man of valour.” He was hiding in fear of the enemy and simply trying to survive. But, God knew more about Gideon than Gideon knew about himself. The same is also true of us. In Gideon’s life, there was tremendous potential that was yet to be realized. Though Gideon was not a “mighty man of valour” in his own eyes, God had a special plan for this timid servant. God knew what Gideon was capable of. We always need to remember that only God knows the true potential in each of our lives. We sometimes limit ourselves because we look at ourselves through the eyes of experience rather than through the eyes of faith. Gideon’s testimony should encourage each of us to believe what God says about us more than what we say about us.
In the record of Gideon, we also see the power that would bring Gideon to his hidden potential. The transforming force was this: “The LORD is with thee.” Praise God, He is the One that makes the difference! We are certainly not sufficient in our own selves; but through Christ, we can triumph.