GIDEON, MAN OF PRAYER?
AND A BOLD INTERCESSOR AT THAT?
That does sound strange, using the noun “boldness” in reference to Gideon!
In fact, he is usually characterized as “cowardly.”
But note the following facts about the man:
He dismantled a false god’s altar that was in his own Father’s back yard! Judges 6:25-27 tells the story in detail. Gideon here could have been killed for his deed!
He gathered an army for God to use in defeating the dreaded Midianites, perennial enemies of Israel. An army of 32,000 men. Bold enough to do this, Gideon was.
He then “cut” his army down to 10,000 men, merely at the command of God! Sounds bold to me.
Then again, the drinking or “lapping” water episode, Gideon was will to fight a formidable enemy with only 300 men! See Judges 7:6.
And, if you remember, Gideon “visited” the enemy “camp,” on sort of a reconnaissance mission. What a bold move that was, a General acting like a scout! Judges 7:10-15 provides the background.
Then the attack itself. Three hundred men (against thousands), ready to fight, offensively. And Gideon right in the middle! Three hundred trumpets, three hundred pitchers (earthen ones), each with a burning “lamp” hidden in it! Then suddenly (the element of surprise) … noise, light, the “appearance” of multitudes of warriors!
And God gave the victory!
I consider Gideon’s actions anything but cowardly!
Yes, even though he “balked” when God first approached him!
Yes, even though he needed a “fleece” episode in the middle of it all.
Gideon, so bold he is almost rash!
What made the difference in Gideon?
From hesitant to head-strong?
I say, PRAYER!
A few words from God, “heard” during Gideon’s times of communion, heard during prayer.
Word for word: “The LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?” Judges 6:14
And another example, as Gideon “talked” with God, “prayed” we would say, he heard the Lord: “Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.” Judges 6:23, Peace from God, and Assurance of Victory!
These are transformative, folks!
And the “conversation” Gideon overheard in the “recon” mission: “Then went he (Gideon) down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.” Judges 7:10-15, amazing!
That would have emboldened anyone!
Note too that Gideon just “worshipped” the Lord!
“Bowed down” and paid homage!
Here’s my point today.
Prayer empowers one with boldness to serve the Lord!
Prayer indeed made Gideon bold.
Prayer made Daniel bold.
Prayer made the Disciples bold, after Pentecost especially.
Prayer made Paul bold.
And prayer will make us bold as well!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell