Sometimes God Picks Skeptics

ImageThe story of Gideon is one of the more interesting ones in the Old Testament. Gideon himself was not very impressive. He admits that he was from the weakest part of the tribe of Manasseh and that he was the least in his own family (either meaning he was the youngest and/or the least physically impressive). In spite of this, God chose to use him to free his people from the oppression of the Midianites.

That God uses the least expected people shouldn’t surprise us. We’ve got lots of examples of that in the Bible and in real life. But it’s not just the people who don’t look the part that God uses. Sometimes God also picks people who struggle with doubts, too. Consider what happened to Gideon.

The Lord speaks to Gideon through an angel telling him, “The Lord is with you.” That should have been encouraging. That should have given Gideon a little pep in his step. What we see, however, is that Gideon answers with some skepticism. “If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:13)

Don’t miss this. An angel shows up with a message from God, and Gideon basically says, “Yeah, right. I’ll believe it when I see it.” This is hardly Isaiah’s “Here am I; send me” or Mary’s “May it be to me as you have said.” For seven years the people had faced hardship and starvation because of the abusive attitude of the Midianites. Where was God then? Gideon felt deserted and abandoned by God. He was in no mood for religious platitudes … and he said so.

Notice that God doesn’t slap Gideon down. Gideon was not disrespectful but he was honest with the Lord. Being honest with God is exactly what we should be.

When we are disappointed with life, we should be honest with God about it. When we feel disappointed with God, we should be honest with Him. It does us absolutely no good to hide our feelings when we pray. No mask (even a lead-lined one) will fool God.

The Lord still chose to use Gideon even though Gideon may not have been a natural leader. He chose him even though Gideon had some doubts and skepticism. If that’s the case, why can’t God use you? He can. Don’t sell yourself short … God hasn’t.

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