Gideon get’s courage – Judges 6 & 7

I had the opportunity to visit Los Vegas a few years ago and I took this picture. It seems strangely appropriate for my thoughts today, idols and Asherah poles.
I am reading in Judges; Gideon intrigues me. His lack of courage surprised me. I know about his fleeces, but somehow they never struck me as motivated by fear. I thought he wanted to be absolutely sure he was obeying God. Reading about him this week, I think he was scared out of his mind. The wonder is that God didn’t give up on him, or mock him, or even yell. In Judges 6:17 & 18, Gideon asks the Lord to stay put, if it really is Him, until he brings back an offering. He couldn’t just run down to grab a Big Mac. He had to prepare and cook it from scratch. Then, when it is the Lord, and Gideon agrees to obey, what God asks of him is really scary, so “he did it by night.” (vs. 27)
He tried to do the Lord’s work in secret. It didn’t work; he was exposed pretty quickly, but still no rebuke from the Lord. I find comfort in that. God knows my weakness and loves me still. I have to think that by the time Gideon’s troops were winnowed down to 300 and God gave him the victory, Gideon had more courage than when God asked him to tear down the idols and Asherah pole.
It’s all about progression, forward motion. We put one foot in front of the other, even if we are shaking, and we see God. Then we put the next foot in front of the first, and again we see God. One of these days I want to run, flat out, no fear, no shaking in my boots, no more baby steps. A full on run, complete with leaping and whooping. I wonder if God plays tag.

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