Friday, October 05, 2007

Glasses of Grace: Judges 6:1-18

I have a lot of sympathy with Gideon. He had a down to earth, grounded in reality view of himself. God shows up and says "The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valour" and Gideon's reaction is who, me?

I've been reading through the book of Judges, and have come to the time of Gideon. The Midianites have swamped the country, destroying crops and lives, and the people of Israel have taken to living in caves. Into the midst of the problem, the angel of the LORD appears to Gideon, greeting him with those words - "The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valour."

Gideon, however, launches into a historical, political, theological diatribe. What are you talking about - how can God be with us if the Midianites have taken over? He has heard the stories of how God acted in the past to rescue Israel from Egypt, but where is God now?

The answer? Right in front of you, Gideon! So again, the angel of the LORD sends him. "Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?"

Gideon still knows his own weakness and says in effect: Don't you realise that I'm the lowest and the least - in terms of tribe and clan and family? If our tribe were picking teams in the playground, my family would be last picked.

The amazing thing is that while Gideon trembles, God looks on him through the eyes of grace, seeing what he will be. Not so much rose-tinted spectacles, but maybe 'glasses of grace'. By God's great grace, he will be the mighty man of valour. When the call is given, it's as if the battle has already been won. He just has to go in God's power.

Do you know what? Just as God saw Gideon through the 'glasses of grace', so he also sees us already perfected in Christ, through his grace. This is the heart of our justification - counted righteous in Christ, as God looks on us and sees Christ.

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