The Frustrated Belief
Gideon (Jerubbaal) was a man who lived during the time of
And the children of
When God brought
This is the reality. But there is also another reality (Romans 8:28). This same suffering (Exodus 2:23-25, 2 Kings 13:3-5, 23) allowed God the opportunity to look down from heaven and take notice of a certain man, who despite all the odds against both himself and his nation, chose to believe God for mercy and deliverance.
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. And the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him,
and said unto him, the Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if
the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where be all his
miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not
the Lord bring us up from
There is too much in the above text in order for me to explain outright so I am going to explain it in parts.
The Lord appeared unto Gideon and basically called him a mighty man of valor. At the time the angel appeared unto Gideon he was threshing wheat and hiding it from the Midianites. I myself don’t know a lot about threshing wheat but I have heard it is a dirty job and because of the winds on the top of the mountains, the chaff would blow down into the valleys and create a visible mess for all to see. In other words, it would be very difficult for Gideon to hide the fact he was threshing wheat. This shows that Gideon had courage, and that he did what he had to do in spite of the risks. But I do not believe this is why the Lord called him a mighty man of valor. Notice what came out of Gideon’s mouth after the Lord called him a might man of valor…
…And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be
with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where be all him miracles which
our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring
us up from
God called Gideon a mighty man of valor because he believed
God. The fact Gideon still had faith in
what the Lord had done in
… And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save
What does “in this thy might” mean? What is the Lord saying? The Lord is saying Gideon’s frustrated belief was his might. The fact that Gideon was wrestling with his own questions regarding God, yet at the same time remained open to what the Lord could do, was his might. The Lord was about to honor Gideon’s frustrated belief.
Here is Gideon’s next question to God.
…And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save
Here is God’s Answer.
…And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
As one man (Gideon) had believed and struggled within that belief, so God would use one man’s belief (Gideon’s) to destroy the Midianites.
I am not going to go into the rest of the story because I don’t want to lose focus, but I am going to point out a few facts concerning Gideon’s belief. God did use Gideon and 300 men to stand against the entire army of the Midianites (Judges 7:12) and He brought about a huge victory, subduing the Midianites through Gideon. This was in spite of the fact that the Lord, on two separate occasions, reassured Gideon by actually showing him that He was going to be with him (Judges 6:36-40; Judges 7:9-15… sometimes called fleeces). Although Gideon had faith and believed God, God still was merciful enough to go beyond the realm of faith and to actually show Gideon that the victory was already his. God called Gideon through faith, but then confirmed the call on two separate and distinct occasions.
What is “The frustrated belief?” A belief is not mature until it is tested (Judges 3:1-4). When a belief gets tested and tested and tested it will either become mature and strong through strain and commitment (relationship) or it will simply give up and ceases to exist. Gideon’s belief was a mature belief because it had been tested. Even though Gideon was frustrated and questioning (like Job), he was also at a point where he was ready to wrestle just to keep this belief alive. It is in these places, where we wrestle with our beliefs, that we become mature within these beliefs. This also becomes the time when God can efficiently use us. Even if God needs to hold our hand and encourage us as he did Gideon (with fleeces), the belief exists, so God has no problem reassuring a man who struggles within that belief. The moral of the story is when we do what God has called us to do, He works within our choices and can even use us miraculously. The hard part for Gideon was to struggle with his belief. As soon as God looked down and saw that Gideon had struggled enough, then He not only called him, but He held his hand. Isn’t it interesting that God’s grace is sufficient? There are times when we are called to struggle but there are also times when God will hold our hand throughout the victory.
We also need to understand at the time God was requiring a struggle of faith from Gideon that Gideon was not called to do anything except struggle. God had not yet called him to be a deliverer. It was only after the faith struggle that God called him to become His deliver. And it was here, and only here, where God mightily held his hand. What’s the moral of this story?? You might be struggling and struggling hard but the good news is that you have not been called to the battlefield yet. Rest in that truth. You might be weary and frustrated and fighting but God has not yet called you to the responsibility of delivering. Does a doctor deliver a baby before it’s time?? Of course not, when the baby is ready, then the doctor is called. And… when God does call you, His grace will be with you and, like Gideon, He will hold your hand throughout the victory. Be reassured today that if you are struggling then God has not yet called you to bring about the victory. As soon as God is pleased with your struggle then He will call you to a certain purpose; and it is within this purpose that He will hold your hand all the way through… throughout the victory.
Note: When I use the word called above I am not referring to a specific call on a man’s life. I do not want to confuse anyone. We as Christians are called to various battles at different times in our lives. The above called expression refers to the many different times in a man’s life where God will require a certain call of purpose or action. This call of purpose or action is usually the direct result of a valley or test that God has just recently brought someone out of.
I want to also add fleeces are sometimes mercifully permitted by God when He calls us to do something extremely difficult according to His will. We as Christian’s are not to ask for fleeces just to “know our way.” If God calls you to obey in an extremely difficult area of your life, this would be the only situation where a fleece should even be considered.