God loves to use people the world might overlook. William Carey was raised in a tiny village in the 1700s and had little formal education. He had limited success in his chosen trade and lived in poverty. But God gave him a passion for sharing the good news and called him to be a missionary. Carey learned Greek, Hebrew, and Latin and eventually translated the first New Testament into the Bengali language. Today he is regarded as a “father of modern missions,” but in a letter to his nephew he offered this humble assessment of his abilities: “I can plod. I can persevere.”
When God calls us to a task, He also gives us strength to accomplish it regardless of our limitations. In Judges 6:12 the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said, “The
The key to Gideon’s success was in the words, “the
The time of the Judges is an approximately 330-year period after Joshua’s death (Judges 2:8) to the beginning of Saul’s reign as king (1 Samuel 13:1). This was a chaotic time when a new generation of Israelites who didn’t know God turned from Him to worship idols (Judges 2:10–14). “Everyone did as they saw fit” (17:6; 21:25), so God raised various neighboring nations to discipline them. When they repented, God raised judges—political and military leaders—to lead them. Gideon is the fifth of thirteen judges in this book (Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelek, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson).