My my state (yeah…Edo state, Nigeria) was in a very quiet ”just keep things running” condition for many years. A lot of people and political analysts had their analysis of reasons for the poor state of things. Either the politicians were siphoning state resources for personal gain or the Federal Allowances were next to nothing after payments of civil servants salaries and other state expenses. I am not a politician, at least non that I know of for now.(Smiles!). They did have different postulations on reasons why a lot of things were not done and on why other facilities like roads and public schools were not in good shape.
Ok, then came the first tenure of a very active Governor. Someone that had the reputation of fighting even the federal government to get the labour force demands met. Apart from he been very energetic, he had the reputation of his words been as good as ”DONE ALREADY”. Actually his results were everywhere. The roads were coming up, public schools were been refurbished and every civil servant was seating up because no one wanted to be scape-goat. It was a thing of either you are ready to work or we help terminate your appointment so you can have your time to relax.
When once he was visiting any sector especially the educational sector, you see the teachers in colorful attires and different songs of praise on account of him. One of the reasons was that they knew he was very active and also good in one thing ”GIVING ASSURANCES”. Whether it was an accidental discharge secondary to the praises showered on him or the awareness that there was so much demand and expectations based on his results as a formal labour leader or whether it was originally in the budget, It did not matter. The most important thing was to get him to make a public promise about that thing and it was as good as done because he was committed to making it true.
In our lesson today, we see Gideon secretly threshing wheat in the Winepress because of the fear of been seen by the Midianites (they destroyed whatever the Isrealites produced for themselves) when the Angel of God appeared to him and told him to go and save Isreal from the midianites’ oppression.
11-12 One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!”
13 Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian.”
14 But God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”
He doubted at this message and saw all the disadvantages against him. First he considered his clan and did not see help coming from there. He possibly had thought ”we don’t have warriors capable of this task in my clan. We are the weakest when you think of a war like this.” And then he thought of his father’s house and to make matters worst, his position. Who was going to hear his call to go to war with the Midianites. But God had His plan. He was looking at one man, called Gideon. Not the clan nor his father’s house.
What happened next brought the victory Isreal needed. It lifted the weight of the burden, enlightened and restored joy, strength and hope in Gideon. GOD GAVE HIM HIS ASSURANCE.
15 Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”
16 God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.”
17-18 Gideon said, “If you’re serious about this, do me a favor: Give me a sign to back up what you’re telling me. Don’t leave until I come back and bring you my gift.”
He said, “I’ll wait till you get back.”
19 Gideon went and prepared a young goat and a huge amount of unraised bread (he used over half a bushel of flour!). He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot and took them back under the shade of the oak tree for a sacred meal.
20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and unraised bread, place them on that rock, and pour the broth on them.” Gideon did it.
21-22 The angel of God stretched out the tip of the stick he was holding and touched the meat and the bread. Fire broke out of the rock and burned up the meat and bread while the angel of God slipped away out of sight. And Gideon knew it was the angel of God!
God went ahead and gave him a sign to back up His assurance and at that point nothing else mattered. Not the weakness of his Clan nor the smallness of his father’s house and his own position in the house. Not even the strength of all Isreal army mattered. The word he received and the sign he saw made all the difference. It gave him all the hope and strength to thread on unseen waters.
One assurance from God is better than a thousand promises from men. Man will forget and fail but an assurance from God is a bill you can afford to make credit on because it will never fail.
The place of seeking the face of God and looking to the rock of ages is a ticket to face every life’s oppositions. We need to bank on this. We need to make deposit on this. To study the bible, To pray, To worship, To look to God for every help we have need of rather than focus on the promises of man.
Sure man is relevant that’s why God placed them everywhere around us but if God has not placed your impression on that man’s heart he will fail you and fail you well.
So we would rather seek God than lobby man. His promises are sure. He will not fail.
judges 6:11-22. Hebrews 11:2. Psalms 20:7. Psalms 46:1