"And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." Judges 6:12
What comes to mind when you read these words? Maybe you picture a big burly man armed to the teeth and dressed for battle. He is the oldest in his family and his family is part of the society elite. He is chomping at the bit to undertake whatever it is God may ask. Sounds good, doesn't it? I mean that's the kind of man to whom I would give the above comendation.
A closer look at the passage paints quite a differant picture "And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites." Judges 6:12
This is the story of Gideon. He was in Israel at the time of the Judges. He was hiding in a winepress thrashing wheat so the enemy would not see him and take it--or his life. He knew he wasn't much. "And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." (v. 15)
God had other plans. He said "Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man." (v. 16) What a promise! To sum up the rest of the story, Gideon and his 300 men defeated the powerful Midionite Army by the hand of the Lord!
This story gives me hope. I am grateful that God looks past what we are to what we can be if we trust Him. When God called Gideon a mighty man a valor, he was anything but. God knew his potential and commended him on that basis.
I am nothing special. I've spent most of my live in a wheelchair. I've never run the mile or bench pressed anything. I'll probably never be rich or famous and beyond my family and friends I won't be remembered after my death. But I cling to the truth of the following passages:
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)
I may never do anything the world considers noteworthy, but if I can love and serve The Lord Jesus Christ and raise a family to do the same, I will be a "mighty man of valor" in God's eyes.
~~God is not looking for brilliant men, is not depending upon eloquent men, is not shut up to the use of talented men in sending His gospel out in the world. God is looking for broken men who have judged themselves in the light of the cross of Christ. When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have come to the end of themselves, whose confidence is not in themselves, but in God. ~~H. A. Ironside