ASSURANCES FROM GOD
“During the night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So, he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp.” Judges 7:9-11
These verses come in the middle of the story of God calling Gideon to face a huge enemy with his very small force. When Gideon first received his call from God he asked for several signs before he was willing to trust and obey. Now that he had acted in faith, God is offering assurances to him about his victory. Gideon goes down and hears one of the enemy soldiers tell another his dream and the other soldier interprets it saying, “Your dream can mean only one thing- God has given Gideon.. victory..”
Looking over the account of the story of Gideon and how he, with God’s help, defeated a vast enemy against overwhelming odds is something that can encourage us today. It says in Judges 7:12, “The armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east had settled in the valley like a swarm of locusts. Their camels were like grains of sand on the seashore- too many to count!”
an old clay jug with large cracks stands on the shelf
What are you facing right now? How great are the forces opposing you today? Remember, before this, God had just instructed Gideon to cut back his army 2 times from 22,000 to 10,000 to 300. This was a very small number to be facing an enemy like locusts whose camels were too numerous to count.
One of the best parts is that God offered assurances to Gideon as he was preparing to go out obediently to take this great risk and trust God to work a miracle and give him the victory. Have you ever felt like the things you are facing are too much for you to handle on your own? Has your strength been depleted, and you feel too weak to face the challenge? Maybe you lost your job, and the bills are piling up. Maybe the doctor gave you a diagnosis that is scary and hard. Maybe you lost a loved one and it seems hard to move forward without them.
Whatever the difficult and overwhelming situation facing you, how are you facing it? Are you trying the world’s way of handling it on your own? Trying harder, digging deeper? Setting up your worldly treasure and security? Perhaps someone is telling you all you need is more faith. All of that is unhelpful and wrong. The issue is not about standing in our strength but glorying in our weakness. This is not about the quantity or even the quality of our faith. This is about the nature of our God. Jesus Himself said, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you would say to this mountain. ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 The point here is, it is not about us, it is about our God. Our small faith, our surrender of our fears and our choosing to trust Him and obey where He is leading us, is for His glory. God wants to give us assurance of the victory.
Look back up to the verse we started with. Gideon is moving ahead doing what God is calling him to do, in the way God wants him to do it. He is no longer asking for signs, yet God is offering to give him assurances. God instructs Gideon to go down and listen and he will be encouraged to attack. For those of you who are out on a limb for Jesus, and I know some of you are. Be encouraged. God is with you and for you. His plans for you are good, to give you a victory, no matter how much the odds are stacked against you. Look and listen for His assurances.
As He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you (My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough- always available – regardless of the situation); for (My) power is being perfected (and is completed and shows itself most effectively) in (your) weakness.”2 Corinthians 12:9
“Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, Who loved us.” Romans 8:35b, 37
May God’s promises revive and assure you and His unfailing love comfort you.