The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. Judges 6:12
Diet Eman was an ordinary, shy young woman in the Netherlands—in love, working, and enjoying time with family and friends—when the Germans invaded in 1940. As Diet (pronounced Deet) later wrote, “When there is danger on your doorstep, you want to act almost like an ostrich burying its head in the sand.” Yet Diet felt God calling her to resist the German oppressors, which included risking her life to find hiding places for Jews and other pursued people. This unassuming young woman became a warrior for God.
We find many stories in the Bible similar to Diet’s, stories of God using seemingly unlikely characters to serve Him. For instance, when the angel of the Lord approached Gideon, he proclaimed, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12). Yet Gideon seemed anything but mighty. He’d been secretly threshing wheat away from the prying eyes of the Midianites, who oppressively controlled Israel at the time (vv. 1–6, 11). He was from the weakest clan of Israel (Manasseh) and the “least” in his family (v. 15). He didn’t feel up to God’s calling and even requested several signs. Yet God used him to defeat the cruel Midianites (see ch. 7).
God saw Gideon as “mighty.” And just as God was with and equipped Gideon, so He’s with us, His “dearly loved children” (Ephesians 5:1)—supplying all we need to live for and serve Him in little and big ways.
Who are some other Bible characters God used despite their weakness to accomplish much for Him? How has God moved you outside your comfort zone to serve Him?
God, I’m so thankful You don’t see me as I see myself. Help me to see myself as Your dearly loved child capable of doing big and small things in service to You.
Judges 6 follows a pattern seen often in the book—Israel’s evil resulting in oppression, followed by Israel crying out to God, and God responding with deliverance. Judges 6 also differs from previous versions of this “pattern” in ways that indicate that both the evil and suffering in Israel is intensifying. In Judges 4, after the Israelites cry out for God’s help, Deborah immediately takes action. In chapter 6, however, after a much more extensive account of the Midianites’ oppression (vv. 2–6), God responds to the Israelites’ cry for deliverance by first chastising them (vv. 7–10).
Gideon emerges as a reluctant judge, his story echoing Moses’ commission. Both lacked confidence in their ability to act as God’s agents, but He commands and sends them anyway (Exodus 3:10; Judges 6:14). Both are granted signs of God’s presence and a promise that God is with them (Exodus 3:12; 4:1–9; Judges 6:16–23).