Jud 6:12-The Gideon Contradiction
Question: “Was Gideon really a mighty man of valor, or was he just as scared as every one else?”
Answer: The answer is “yes”; that is, Gideon was both a mighty man of valor, and just as scared as everybody else in Ophrah. During this time of oppression, it was a risky thing to have grain the enemy might have wanted. The fact that Gideon threshed the wheat in less than ideal circumstances shows that he was willing to do what was necessary, but he probably saw no need to stand at the top of the hill where every scout for miles could see what he was doing. He threshed, shall we say, “discreetly”; but at least he was providing for his family, in spite of the risk he sought to mitigate.
This may not seem to be all that courageous, but consider, God saw Gideon, not for what he was, but what he might be. As to fear, perhaps give some latitude, since it‘d be foolish to pick a fight with the oppressors. He had to be coaxed into taking up the role of judge and deliverer.
This should not seem strange to us; most men are a combination of faith and doubt, courage and anxiety. Under the given circumstances we may imagine a more heroic response, but we know few of the details of what his family had endured, and what retributions it might face were it known he was taking up the cause of deliverance. Beyond that, few can predict what a man will do, when called on to act at the risk of life, limb, property, family and status.
Gideon’s concerns were not unfounded. Other judges had come and gone, and their legacies were short lived. Why put his neck on the line? But God’s call and God’s patience with him, won the day, and the deliverance. We should be grateful that God sees in us what He wants us to be, and not just what we are: a sometimes contradictory combination of faith and doubt, courage and fear. He accepts our weakness to show His power. If He didn’t, no one would ever be used of God.
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