Read Judges 6
Hiding for fear. That’s how we find Gideon when we meet him in Judges 6.
Understandably so. Fear weaves through Gideon’s story like thread in a quilt.
The Midianites had bullied his people into hiding after stealing their livelihood for seven straight years. The Israelites had spent seven years victimized and laying low, merely surviving in fear. And afraid.
Then God showed up with seven words of life and unafraid. He called Gideon to more than mere survival, bidding him to place his fear on Him, the only One truly deserving.
“The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
Six more words, and the charge was complete.
“Go in the strength you have . . .” (v14).
If we take a step back and look into that winepress, we see a scared little boy hiding from a big bully.
“But Lord . . . (m)y clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (v15).
God saw something much different, though. He saw a man in whom He could display His own strength. A mighty God-made-warrior chosen from the least and the weakest, called to show off His own power and might.
Isn’t it just like God to call that man to victory over the enemy? Isn’t it just like Him to name him a mighty warrior?
Gideon’s job was no easy feat: calling his own father out for idolatrous acts. He could have been ridiculed, ostracized, not to mention killed, and by his own family, if he’d been caught tearing down Baal’s altar. (See verse 27.)
That’s why God started with those seven words. “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” Declaring the truth of Gideon’s identity. Revealing the peace on which he could stand. The wholeness of God in all of His might and His fear-worthiness.
In His infinite wisdom and grace, Almighty God bestowed on Gideon the truth He saw.
I am with you, Gideon. Therefore, you are a mighty warrior, full of strength.
And God’s spoken word moved Gideon from helpless victim hiding out in a pit to valiant soldier tearing down false gods (vv 25-29), later conquering enemies in His name (Judges 7).
The same is true for us today. Just like with Gideon, God’s Word can move us out of fear-filled pits and into true freedom. Into true living that fears God and God alone.