staying engaged with God
Judges 6:11-24 (JDV)
Judges 6:11 The agent of Yahveh came, and he sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Abiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites.
Judges 6:12 Then the agent of Yahveh appeared to him and said: “Yahveh is with you, capable warrior.”
Judges 6:13 Gideon said to him, “Excuse me, my lord, if Yahveh is with us, why has all this happened? And where are all his miracles that our fathers told us about? They said, ‘Hasn’t Yahveh brought us out of Egypt? ‘ But now Yahveh has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.”
Judges 6:14 Yahveh turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the grasp of Midian. I am sending you!”
Judges 6:15 He said to him, “Excuse me, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Notice, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s family.”
Judges 6:16 “But I will be with you,” Yahveh said to him. “You will strike Midian down as if it were one man.”
Judges 6:17 Then he said to him, “If I have found favor with you, give me a sign that it is you who are speaking with me.
Judges 6:18 Please do not leave this place until I return to you. Let me bring my gift and place it before you.” And he said, “I will stay until you return.”
Judges 6:19 So Gideon went and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from a half bushel of flour. He placed the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot. He brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.
Judges 6:20 The agent of God said to him, “Take the meat with the unleavened bread, place it on this stone, and pour the broth on it.” So he did that.
Judges 6:21 The agent of Yahveh extended the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire came up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the agent of Yahveh vanished from his eyes.
Judges 6:22 When Gideon realized that he was the agent of Yahveh, he said, “Oh no, Lord Yahveh! I have seen the agent of Yahveh face to face!”
Judges 6:23 But Yahveh said to him, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid, because you will not die.”
Judges 6:24 So Gideon built an altar to Yahveh there and called it Yahveh Is Peace. It is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites today.
staying engaged with God
You would think that this miraculous sign would be enough. But Gideon goes on and asks for more signs. Trust is a hard thing to build. God knew that Gideon had a lifetime of unanswered questions and disappointments. He was willing to invest this time in Gideon in spite of his weak trust. Every engagement, every conversation — every sign — helped Gideon overcome his lack of trust and help build his faith.
God is willing to do that for you too. But you will have to meet with him and let him challenge you to be more than you can imagine. If you stay away from God, he will honor that choice. But you will lose the blessing.
LORD, make us people who stay engaged with you, until you make us what we can be.