October 04, 2011

A Hero in Hiding?

Judges 6:1-12

The angel of the LORD came … where … Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress …
Judges 6:11


Where do we find heroes? We might try to find them in sports, movies, television, or the news. But what about in a winepress?

Gideon was threshing wheat in a most unlikely place. People usually separated wheat from chaff out in the open air so that breezes could blow the unwanted chaff away. But Gideon did not live in a “usual” time.

Israel had again fallen away from allegiance to God. So God was using the Midianites as an instrument of punishment. The Midianites plundered Israel and ravaged the land, destroying the crops and harvests. As a result, farmers threshed grain in places sheltered from an open view—in a winepress, for instance. It was a time of fear, and Gideon was a fearful man.

Sometimes people think heroes of faith have no fear, but that’s not true. Following God is often a journey that begins with an encounter in which God calls the fearful away from their fears. Do you hear the irony in God’s message to Gideon through his angel? “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”

How can we face our fears and join the journey of faith? By remembering that we are not alone. The Lord is with each one of us. Still today God desires to give that same message to us as ordinary people whom he calls for his extraordinary purposes.

Dear God, you know my fears. Help me to face them by trusting in your forgiveness, presence, and provision through Jesus—Immanuel (“God with us”). Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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