‘Brave and mighty man’?: Judges 6.1–12 (22 July 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.

Pray

Pray

Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.

Reflect

Daily reflection: Judges 6

Gideon's is a rich and exciting story, packed with incident. The Israelites are being oppressed again. It is time for another judge to rescue them. The LORD's angel appears to Gideon and says, 'The LORD is with you, brave and mighty man!' (verse 12).

However, the greeting is comically inappropriate. To avoid the Midianites, Gideon is threshing wheat, not in an open space where the wind could blow the chaff away, but in a winepress – a depression cut into the rock, perhaps about the size of a small bath. He is not fighting, but hiding. It gets worse: he has no confidence in himself (verse 15); when he's told to destroy his father's altar to Baal he only dares to do it at night (verse 27); and when he nerves himself to fight he insists on more proof that he'll be safe (verses 36–40). He's not at all brave.

But perhaps this is the point: in his own strength, Gideon is not a very impressive figure at all. But God addresses him not as he is, but as, with God's help, he will become. In 1 Corinthians 1.26–28, Paul says God 'chose what the world considers weak to shame the powerful'. That was Gideon: weak in himself, but empowered by God.

Most of us, says Paul, are like that: without much going for us in terms of natural abilities or status, but 'brave and mighty' because God is with us.

Pray

Pray

God, help me to see myself not as I am, but as I could be in your strength. Thank you for your Spirit, empowering me to do more than I could imagine.

Bringing the Bible to life

Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7DG. Registered charity 232759