‘FACING OUR GAINTS’ with GOD’s HELP: Then the Lord turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?" So he said to Him, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." And the Lord said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man." (Judges 6:14-16)
'Facing the Giants' is a heart-touching movie created by a US church in 2006 that tells the story of a losing coach with an underdog football team as they face their ‘giants of fear and failure’ on and off the field, but achieves surprising results at the end through their trust in God. Similar to this is the story of Gideon, a wheat farmer-turned-military leader, who delivered Israel from the Midianites after being oppressed by them for seven long years.
This oppression by the Midianites probably occurred around 1200 BC, and God Himself (referred to as the Angel of the Lord) appeared to Gideon with strong words of encouragement to get him off his fears (vv. 12, 16). This happened when Gideon was literally beating out the grain from the wheat husks inside a winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites, fearing that they would steal it if he were caught. We can see Gideon literally afraid and hiding from his enemy in the opening act of his story.
Gideon was an unlikely candidate for God’s “Hall of Fame” (Heb. 11:32). Throughout the story line, Gideon appears to be afraid and fearful (vs. 11, 22, 27). He doubted the promise of the angel of the Lord; he constantly asked for signs and fleeces; he was afraid to throw down the altar of Baal, which he did it by night when no one was around, etc. When God reminded Gideon that he would be the next Judge-Deliverer, he began to make excuses for himself immediately. He objected that his family in Manasseh was poor and that he was least in his father’s house. In essence, he was saying that he was not qualified for this task, neither was his family, and neither was his tribe. Nevertheless, God promised that He would be with him and that he and the Israelites would destroy the Midianites “as one man” (v. 16b).
God actually pointed to Gideon’s potential as a mighty deliverer through His enabling power (v. 15). In view of Gideon’s situation and his slowness to act, this was more a word of anticipation than a statement of fact. God saw the potential in Gideon, and even called him a “mighty man of valor” (v. 12). Finally, he could “face his giants” with God’s help!
We too can face any fears in our lives when we know that God is on our side. All we have to do is trust and obey God implicitly. God will help us to accomplish all that He asks us to do. God sees the potential in us, and says to us as He did to Simon Peter: “You are . . .You shall be” (John 1:42). God knows our weaknesses and will accommodate Himself to our needs so that He can develop our faith in the process!
For someone like Gideon who was so fearful and worried, he built and altar to the Lord (v. 24) and called it YHWH Shalom (“The-Lord-Is-Peace”). We too can enjoy the God’s peace today as we lay our fears and worries upon God through prayer, and boldly “face our giants” with God’s help and the peace that He only can give us!