The Faith of Gideon

Text: Judges 6:28-40

Gideon, it seems to me, is more popularly known for fighting the Midianites, but I think this episode of baal destruction within Israel is one of the things that Paul has in mind when he mentions Gideon in Hebrews 11. It is illustrative of the kind of faith described there. How so?

Well, at this point in Israel’s history, as with many other points, the wisest men in Israel were fools, and all gave their approval to unlawful public worship. And not only did they give their approval, they facilitated it. And everyone else slavishly followed along. Consequently, Israel got shellacked. Midian was kicking their tail. So, why didn’t anyone do anything? We all would like to think we would have done something. That we would have been like Gideon. But consider this. When Gideon finally did something, everyone wanted to put a bullet in his head. And Gideon knew he was going to piss everyone off. That’s why he tore the altar down at night. But he didn’t know specifically what was going to happen. He could have been killed. He could have been ostracized. He could have been disowned by his family. He could have lost any number of things.

But faith doesn’t consider those things. Faith doesn’t look at the outcomes, which are usually horrifying, and then decide how to act. Faith looks at what God would have you do, and then act with absolute indifference to the consequences. And that’s where amazing things happen. It’s magic. And to the spiritually naïve, this looks like suicide, it looks like crucifixion without resurrection. It fails to see that this is how God operates in history over and over and over again.

And this type of faith is how you are to live. You are to live with a recklessness that places everything precious to you on an altar called obedience. So do it. Crucify yourself. Crucify your fear of men. Crucify your reasonableness. Reasonable men have never done anything great for the kingdom. But faithful men have.