This is for the guys 🙂 Why not?
If you’ve read the Bible at all or grown up in church you probably know the story of Gideon.
His story is used a lot to tell of a person who feels weak, inadequate, and afraid but when he obeys God and relies on Him and His strength, battles are won. (See Judges 5-7). And it’s honestly so encouraging to hear his story as I relate to it so much.
However, I realized today that where we usually stop telling Gideons story is not the end. That was just part 1.
Read part 2 for yourself in Judges 8.
22 The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.”
23 But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lordwill rule over you.” 24 And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)
25 They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. 26 The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels,[b] not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. 27 Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.
I was a bit surprised actually, I guess it was like *childhood felt board story crushed* [holla American kids].
While his heart was in the right place and he had good intentions, he lacked some wisdom in leadership. Sometimes we do things rashly without thinking all the possibilities through. The consequences are more devastating the more responsibility you carry.
And the sad reality is that the legacy he left wasn’t a good one (verses 33-35).
33 No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god 34 and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. 35 They also failed to show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) in spite of all the good things he had done for them.
I felt like God wanted me to encourage the men in my world that it’s not just about winning huge battles but it’s the “small” battles in every day life- like self discipline, keeping the main thing the main thing, family, personal leadership, etc.
While these ‘small’ things can be overlooked and are built in the unseen and in the trials of life, they are actually huge. It’s the small things that make up a person’s character.
Some other side notes I saw while reading about Gideon’s part 2 of his story…
4 Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it. 5 He said to the men of Sukkoth, “Give my troops some bread; they are worn out, and I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”
I can’t expect the men in my world to be super human, just as these warriors weren’t super human either. What set them apart and gave them victory was God, yes, and HE graced them to win- but it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t like God said, “I’ll give you victory” and they just sat there and watched. It was hard work but God gave them the strength.
19 Gideon replied, “Those were my brothers, the sons of my own mother. As surely as theLord lives, if you had spared their lives, I would not kill you.” 20 Turning to Jether, his oldest son, he said, “Kill them!” But Jether did not draw his sword, because he was only a boy and was afraid.
21 Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Come, do it yourself. ‘As is the man, so is his strength.’” So Gideon stepped forward and killed them, and took the ornaments off their camels’ necks.
This passage is interesting to me. And while I realize the context and the background (it’d be humiliating for him to be killed by a young boy, especially an untrained warrior), I noticed a few things. And if I’m just reading into it, ignore me haha, please. But I feel like some guys are still acting like Gideon pre-battle (and his son now doing the same) – afraid, hiding, and not seeing or fully living up to the potential that is truly within them. These guys need someone to see it in them and bring it out of them and call the man out! We should be encouraging the men in our world to be courageous and not hiding in fear of failure or inadequacy. But we all know Gideon wasn’t just a fearful, hiding man, but he also stepped out when God revealed Himself to him. And we see in the above verse that when his son was afraid to do it, he stepped forward and did it.
We as women should be encouraging our men to be brave and step forward into God’s anointing and His strength! And to not just focus on the big battles/mountains but the ones they are facing every day. I want to support and cheer on the guys in my life, and I want to learn how to do that well.