The Weak and the Least

from Lynda Lindsey

Gideon to the Lord: “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.” And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” Judges 6:15-16

The Lord 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

“But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Judges 7:10-11

Too often we quail before our enemy, rehearsing endlessly what they have that we lack. We obsess. We’re outnumbered, unarmed or underarmed. They have the upper hand, more resources, a bigger budget. They’re stronger, more powerful; we’re the underdog, weak, and with the least of everything crucial for waging successful warfare. God, however, views things differently. God invites the weak, the least, and the terrified to join Him in battle! What? Doesn’t God see us as we are, as Gideon was, fearfully working in a pit rather than on an elevated threshing floor? 

Indeed, but God calls into existence things that don’t yet exist and sees us as we will be when His character is fully formed in us! Incredible, but with God, not impossible! Our role? Believe by faith what God says is true and act on it. It might seem dishonest  or hypocritical on our part, but it isn't. We live simultaneously in two realities: the now and the not yet. Spirit led, God’s people live in this present moment, even with teeth chattering in fear, as victorious conquerors, because God is with us, strengthening and encouraging us, fighting our battles for and through us. But be warned. 

When Gideon, vastly outnumbered, obeyed God, God gave victory. God was even patient with Gideon’s weaknesses and reluctance. Sadly, Gideon was deceived. Relying on his own power and earthly wisdom, Gideon made a forbidden golden ephod, all Israel whored after it, and it became a snare to Gideon, his family, and his people. Gideon forgot to be content with his own weaknesses. He forgot that when he was weak, he was strong in God. He forgot to let God’s strength flow through his weakness. We, too, forget; forgetting puts us in grave spiritual peril. Don’t be ensnared.