Yahweh Is with You
Christopher B. Harbin
Judges 6:11-16; 7:13-15
For many years I have identified rather closely with many aspects of the Gideon story. No, I have not led armies into battle, torn down altars to Baal and made burnt sacrifices to Yahweh with my father's livestock. I have, however, seen God call me to what I believed myself unqualified to accomplish. Like Gideon, God has more than once called me out of my comfort zone into situations and contexts no one had taught me how to handle. In each of those situations, I would have to trust God to supply and act beyond my personal limitations. I would have to trust God to be with me.
Judges introduces Gideon to us as a man minding his own business and seeking to care for the needs of his family against great opposition. The unknown prophet who had been calling Israel back to Yahweh addressed him rather directly, simply telling him to use his strength to redeem all of Israel. He wanted Gideon to raise his sights off the plight of his family to do something greater for the nation all around him. Gideon felt woefully unqualified for such.
Throughout high school, I had taken voice lessons, played trombone, and sung in various choirs. I led music as school assemblies but was caught off guard when at the beginning of my senior year of high school my father asked me to become minister of music at the little church he was serving as interim pastor. All the ministers of music I had known had graduated from college and seminary, had children my age, and had plenty of experience. I knew how to sing and wave my arms, but felt inadequate beyond that. Then my father reminded me that I had years more experience than anyone else at the church, none of which had ever sung in a choir. I took the job with fear and trembling, trusting that God would supply my lack.
Gideon did not know what to do when the prophet confronted him. He balked. He asked for a sign. He wanted confirmation that God was really going to stand ...
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