April 14, 2021

Ordinary Circumstances

Judges 6:11-24

The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak . . . where . . . Gideon was threshing wheat. . . .

—  Judges 6:11

It’s quite natural to hear a message of news and then wonder whether or not the message is trustworthy. This is as true today as it has ever been, especially when communities and nations are under stress and are often hearing messages that contradict each other.

Gideon, who was approached by the angel of the Lord ­under an oak tree, was part of a community that was crying out to God and waiting for help. But most of the people were also unfaithful to God (Judges 6:1-10). Even so, God came to their rescue anyway.

Gideon’s people needed to be delivered from neighboring enemies who were raiding and ruining their crops. Gideon was threshing grain in a winepress so that he wouldn’t be seen by the enemy. It was a desperate situation, so it’s understandable that he balked when the angel first said, “The Lord is with you. . . .” The angel had to assure Gideon that God had the right person at the right address. And the angel worked with Gideon to show him that this message from God could be trusted.

This delightful story about Gideon being called out from under an oak tree draws our attention to the ways in which God sometimes approaches us in the ordinary circumstances of life. God has the authority to call us to participate in his kingdom work, and sometimes he interrupts us in surprising ways. And, in cases like Gideon’s, only after we agree to trust in God’s plan do we receive the skills and tools that are needed.

Lord, help us to trust you when you call, and to believe that you will equip us for the work you want us to do. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Julia Prins Vanderveen

Julia Prins Vanderveen works and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, Trevor, and their three sons. Julia has served as a copastor with Trevor at a church in Vancouver. She is a campus pastor and a humanities teacher at the Vancouver Christian School.

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