Hebrews – Chapter Eleven LVIII

by Ed Urzi

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets” (Hebrews 11:32 ESV).

Our review of Gideon’s life from the Biblical book of Judges continues with the record of his interaction with the angel of the Lord…

“But again Gideon said to him, ‘With all due respect, my Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I’m the youngest in my household.’ The Lord replied, ‘Because I’m with you, you’ll defeat the Midianites as if they were just one person.’

Then Gideon said to him, ‘If I’ve gained your approval, please show me a sign that it’s really you speaking with me. Don’t leave here until I return, bring out my offering, and set it in front of you.’ The Lord replied, ‘I’ll stay until you return.’ So Gideon went and prepared a young goat and used an ephah of flour for unleavened bread. He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them.

Then God’s messenger said to him, ‘Take the meat and the unleavened bread and set them on this rock, then pour out the broth.’ And he did so. The Lord’s messenger reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire came up from the rock and devoured the meat and the unleavened bread; and the Lord’s messenger vanished before his eyes.

Then Gideon realized that it had been the Lord’s messenger. Gideon exclaimed, ‘Oh no, Lord God! I have seen the Lord’s messenger face-to-face!’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Peace! Don’t be afraid! You won’t die.’ So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it ‘The Lord makes peace.’ It still stands today in Ophrah of the Abiezrites” (Judges 6:15-24 CEB).

Now that we’ve met Gideon, what kind of person did he seem to be? Was he a heroic man? Did he project an image of confidence? Was he a person of bravery, courage, and fearlessness? Not at all. Gideon was clearly someone who was frightened, confused, and unsure of himself. However, Gideon was not the only Biblical personality to exhibit these characteristics in response to God’s calling.

For instance, let’s reconsider Moses’ example from earlier in this chapter. When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Exodus 4:13 records his response: “My Lord, I beg you to send someone else, not me” (ERV). We also have the example of the great prophet Jeremiah. When God called Jeremiah to be His spokesperson, Jeremiah responded by saying, “‘O Sovereign Lord… I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!'” (Jeremiah 1:6 NLT).

We’ll consider twelve similar examples from the New Testament next.