Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gideon: a Fool that God Used

This is because I attended a session of Priscilla Shirer's bible study about Gideon.  I was very glad that I went.  I don't know if I will always be able to go, but this session encouraged me.

Gideon is in the book of Judges.  He lives at a time when the people are saved from Egypt, but now they live in Canaan and take God for granted.  They also want to impress their wicked neighbors.  They go through cycles: 1) They worship God. 2) They begin to worship idols. 3) Their society crumbles to another country. 4) God raises up a savior to rescue them and to bring them back to God.

You can get many morals from Judges.  You get plenty of people to not imitate.  Like Gideon, I live in a wicked time where a once-moral society falls to a pagan country.  This falling causes me to hide and to not be able to work or make a living.  God used Gideon, one of the bible's biggest Bumblers.  He can use me, also a big Bumbler.  It's not the end.

Ultimately, Judges is a prophetic book.  It was written by the prophets to commentate on Israel's history and to point to where it is leading.  The constant cycles in Judges that culminate in good men such as Jephthah or Othniel, or shady men like Ehud, Samson, and Gideon, and even one woman, Deborah, all of them point to our need to focus on God.  On our own power we are woefully unable to continue to follow Yahweh.  We get distracted, and we ultimately need a savior to bring us out of our pagan surroundings.  Later, Israel tried to cure this with kings.  They still fell into idolatry.  Ultimately, God had to send Christ, the King of Kings to finally save his people permanently.

In this story, oddly, Gideon is a type of Christ.  He's a terrible example, but I heard a sermon today on Judges by Jonathan Fletcher on the Gospel Coalitions saying, "Don't ever tell God who he can't use."  We can certainly call out ungodly behavior, beliefs, hypocrisy, and poor choices, but God still uses those people.  He uses godless men like Barack Obama.  He uses confusing men like Rick Warren.  He uses Hitler.  And he uses normal people like myself.  They all point to our major need for salvation.  And they point to Jesus who overcomes even biggest errors to redeem us from sin and for himself.

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