Armed to the Teeth

Judges 6:13 “Where are all His wonders?” (NIV).

Observation: Israel was living under God’s judgment, having been overrun by the superior, oppressive power of the Midianites. Reduced to living in caves and mountain clefts, Israel watched helplessly as marauding enemy armies ruined crops and killed livestock. Into this desperate context God sent an angel to declare to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior,” (Judg. 6:12) to which Gideon asked the understandable question, “But sir, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all His wonders?” (v. 13).

Application: Gideon would shortly receive his answer. We read later that in order to demonstrate God’s great power, He required Gideon to first reduce his army from thirty-two thousand to just three hundred men. Even these three hundred were not armed to the teeth with rocket-propelled grenades and shoulder-fired missiles; instead, Gideon was told to arm his troops with trumpets, torches, pitchers, and a shout—a remarkably sorry excuse for a fighting force.

As his army prepared to attack, God graciously allowed Gideon to overhear a whispered conversation between two Midianites. One was telling of his dream, foretelling Gideon’s impending successful attack. “Where are all His wonders?” Gideon had asked. How God’s heart must have leapt with joy over such a question, for He well knew what He was about to do.

I have read of God’s great exploits in history and have heard testimony that He is even today a God of wonders: of deliverance, healing, financial provision, and protection. Even these reflect but the edges of His attributes. Yet like Gideon, my heart grows faint when His wonders seem far away, His performances always in another’s behalf. Disappointment becomes palpable, waiting unbearable. Each moment of unfulfilled expectations is interpreted as defeat and abandonment.

I declare to God that I’ve done all the right stuff. I’ve marshaled my best resources, yet heaven remains silent. But the reality is, He would winnow my resources to just a trumpet, a torch, a pitcher, and a shout. He would have me remember that the battle is His, not mine. He would have me live in a place of vulnerability and unresolved pain until my resources have become exhausted and I am prostrate before Him. Only then will He act. I must understand that He will never use His resources in competition with mine. Once I have surrendered and admitted complete dependence upon Him, it is then that all heaven can be unleashed on my behalf.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, your wounds are stark testimony of Your battle for my heart. Cause me to trust that the work is, indeed, finished.

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