Courageous Does Not Necessarily Mean Fearless

When I think of Gideon I normally think of a man of great courage who the led 300 men that routed the innumerable army of the Midianites. When I read Judges 7:9-11 I was reminded that their was more to the story. Notice what the text says,

“That same night the LORD said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.”

The story continues with Gideon going with Purah to overhear what the enemy was discussing! No debate. He was afraid and took the option to learn more about he enemy rather than immediately take God at his word. What did he hear? He heard the opposing army discussing a dream in which they thought it meant that Gideon was going to defeat them in battle!

The story continues vs 15 which says, “As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped.” The word “worshipped” means that he fell down on his knees and touch the ground with his forehead in worship of God!

What does this story tell us about the God we serve? He was very patient with Gideon and knew his weakness and lack of faith. He allowed him to see the certainty of God’s deliverance if he would respond in faith.

What does this say about Gideon? His first response to God’s promise was doubt. But, I think we also see that courage does not mean a person will necessarily be fearless.  It took great courage to go down close enough to the Midianites to hear them talking.  At the same time, he was not a superstar. He had imperfections and yet God worked through them to accomplish his will. After hearing the Midianites discussion, Gideon then responded in faith and assembled the troops to crush their army with the courage that came from trusting the LORD to do as he promised.

Father, I thank you that you are such a patient God and know me fully and know my weaknesses just like Gideon. As you helped Gideon work through his lack of faith would you continue to work in me to help me trust you to work in my life? May you work in me to make my first response to your leadership one of trust rather than doubt. May you give me the courage that comes from taking you at your Word as Gideon did!

Following Jesus with you,

Jeff

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