Gideon is the mighty warrior that God called up to save Israel… Wait that is actually not right. Gideon is young, untested, and needy. In fact the world would say that Gideon is not leadership ready let alone capable of leading a nation to war when God calls him. Yet this is who God has called and blessed to be leader from among the people to save the nation from oppression. Oppression the nation caused themselves because they refused to trust or seek God. He left them to their own and the end result was being overrun by people that did not respect or love them. Now God in His mercy is going to save Israel, because they cried out to Him, through a young unproven man. Gideon recognized his place in the societal pecking order and responded to the Angel accordingly with sound worldly logic.
15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” Judges 6:15 ESV
Gideon sees himself as part of the weakest family from a tribe not named Judah. Then he reminded God that he, Gideon, is the weakest member of this weak family. Do you see yourself the same way? Or do you see yourself as a successful achiever? The Angel addressed Gideon as a successful achiever at the start of the conversation.
12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” Judges 6:12 ESV
God called Gideon what he would become not what he was right at that moment. Whatever success Gideon is about to see and live is not because Gideon is a powerful person who is able to achieve great things. That designation “mighty man of valor” is the result of Gideon doing exactly what God will ask him to do. God sees the beginning and the end of everything. This mighty man of valor designation is a result of the life lived in God’s mercy and for God’s glory. This name however is not something to be desired for the sake of personal ego because even an achieving person is not able to save outside of God’s plans. God lifts or brings down for His glory and for His purpose. There have been other mighty men of valor besides Gideon like the ones that Israel overcame to move into the Promised Land.
And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. Joshua 6:2 ESV
And the mighty men of valor could not save Israel from the judgment of God when they had forsaken Him.
He carried away all Jerusalem and all the officials and all the mighty men of valor, 10,000 captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained, except the poorest people of the land. 2 Kings 24:14 ESV
Mighty men are raised and fall according to God’s great wisdom and mercy. God calls Gideon this name because that is what Gideon will become as a result of God’s plans and God’s effort to save Israel. Gideon will become a mighty man of valor because from a worldly perspective Gideon will accomplish the impossible. He will rout the invading armies of tens of thousands with only a few hundred soldiers.
2 The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Judges 7:2 ESV
God looked at the 32,000 fighting men and told Gideon he had too many soldiers. Realistically Gideon’s 32,000 was woefully small compared to the 130,000 and more of the enemy encamped on Israeli land. Gideon asked the fighting men if they were afraid and if so they could leave. No surprise that 20,000 walked away knowing that this small army was going to be guaranteed death. The 10,000 that remained were still too many. In the end God kept less than 1% of the original fighting force. A force so small that everyone involved and everyone who observed what was to come would have no choice but to acknowledge the God of Israel had saved them.
God is still at work today and He calls His children by name. Is your name “mighty” because of what God has done or will do through you for His glory? Jesus told the disciples that they could know that He and God were one because of the amazing miracles.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. John 14:11 ESV
God wanted to show Israel that it was Him that they should trust and put their hope in. Gideon is mighty because he trusted God to go into battle with just 300 men. God’s power and glory were on display because of the amazing victory that day. Jesus performed miracles as signs and wonders that gave his words authority. “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” and these wonders are the proof he told the disciples. Then he followed that up with an even more profound statement.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father John 14:12 ESV
Jesus told the disciples and those that are called by His name even today that through them God will do mighty works. Follower of Christ have you listened and obeyed God in His call on your life? Have you become mighty because of what God has done through you for His glory?