Yesterday I started writing about this chapter and realized that I couldn't do it in just one post. I underlined so much in this chapter and still won't be able to touch on all of it. The third story in this chapter is from Judges and it is about Gideon. The funny thing is it reminds me a little bit about what I wrote before about Saul in an earlier post.
Gideon is in the winepress threshing wheat. Notice he is in a winepress threshing wheat, not on a threshing floor threshing wheat. He is literally in the winepress hiding. Threshing floors are open so that wind can come through and blow away the chaff. The winepress is closed in and the chaff isn't blown away. I don't know much about threshing wheat but I do know that you don't want the chaff. Why is he hiding? The Midianites come down every harvest season and plunder the wheat. So he's hiding his wheat from them. (This is what reminds me of Saul, the hiding.)
An angel comes and says to Gideon, "Hail, Mighty Warrior." Gideon was not a warrior, and certainly not a mighty one. He is a farmer hiding from his enemies. So why did he call him a Mighty Warrior? God knew that Gideon would become a mighty warrior. So what does God call you? What does He know you will become?
Mark mentions that before Gideon was given the task of leading an army against the Midianites he had to destroy all of his idols. I know many of us don't have actual idol figures but we do have idols. God wants to use me but I need to find those idols and destroy them. Then Gideon had to build a proper alter to the Lord. Here's the catch, he did all that, but he was afraid of his family and the men of town so he did it at night. I would love to say, "what a wimp!" but I can understand it. I know there are things God has asked me to do but I have feared family members' reactions and what others would think.
Mark wrote, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, this God who claims us so completely, uncompromisingly, that He often puts us at odds with family, with the men of the town. This God brooks no rivals and orders us to tear them down with our own hands. this God calls us out of secluded winepresses and into open battlefields." and then "Why ruin the idols of the safe god and risk our good standing in the community?"
The safe god was the god who allowed Gideon to thresh wheat in the winepress. He's the god who wants us to be cowards. He wants the chaff mixed in with our wheat. He wants us living under oppression.
But God wants me to be a mighty warrior. He demands full allegiance. Idols smashed. Chaff free, full harvests. Living in freedom through Him.
Safe? Who said anything about safe? 'Course He's not safe. But He's good. He's the King!