This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.
You can’t help but chuckle a little when you read the story of Gideon in Judges 6&7. In 6:12, the Angel of the Lord says to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.” This just after we’re told that Gideon was threshing wheat in secret to hide from the Midianites. Those enemies of Israel, after all, had been oppressing the people by destroying the produce of the land.
What we read about Gideon shows more a fearful man than a “valiant warrior.” He hid in a winepress while threshing grain. He tore down an altar of Baal, but did so at night “because he was too afraid of his father’s family and the men of the city.” Then, when God used him to gather an army and fight Israel’s enemies, he first requested that God give him a sign and then another using a fleece so he could be sure. Finally, after promising Gideon victory with a small army, God told him:
“But if you are afraid to attack the camp, go down with Purah your servant. Listen to what they say and then you will be encouraged.” (7:10-11)
And Gideon did just that.
It is an irony that God would call Gideon a “valiant warrior,” when Gideon was obviously a fearful man. Yet, God still used Gideon and worked through him. Despite Gideon’s fears, God did turn him into a valiant warrior.
God is bigger than our fears. Sometimes, he overcomes our fears by granting us great courage. Other times, he overcomes our fears by working in our lives despite them. The trick to conquering fear is trusting in the God who is infinitely stronger, infinitely bigger, and infinitely wiser than anyone else.
All scripture quotes taken from the Christian Standard Bible.