To answer that good question let’s read Judges 6:11-12, “Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, ‘The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Here is the “calling of Gideon” and see that it was “the Angel of the LORD” who called Gideon. Who is the Angel of the LORD? We believe it was none other than the Lord Himself; in other words, it was God (or Jehovah, as some translations render the word “LORD”). We shall see this clearly as we go on but the very fact that the word “Angel” is capitalized in many Bible versions indicated that this is no “ordinary angel” but God who “appeared to Gideon as an angel.” Some even believe it is a preincarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. If you were to study all the references which mention “the Angel of the LORD” you would conclude that this is indeed God Himself appearing to men. See Genesis 31:11-13; 48:15-16; Exodus 3:2-6; 13:21 with 14:19.

How did Gideon respond to these words from the Angel of the LORD? He said, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites” (verse 13).  Gideon’s response reveals that he has no idea the “Angel” before him is indeed God Himself. Yet he still should have believed the message that, in his mind, an “angel” had given him, that “The LORD is with you.” If he had believed it, he would not have questioned his words but embraced them. We read on in verse 14, “Then the LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.” Notice, “the LORD turned to him”; that is, “GOD turned to him.” If there was any doubt that the “Angel of the LORD” was actually God, these words should have dispelled those doubts. How does Gideon respond to this? Sadly, he says, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (verse 15). Poor Gideon! He now knew that God Himself was speaking to him (for he used the word “Lord” instead of the word “lord” in verse 13), but he was still full of doubts. Why? Ah, because he was looking AT HIMSELF instead of AT THE LORD! He speaks of his family’s weakness and how he is the weakest of his father’s house. But had not God called him a “man of valor” in verse 12 and that he would go against the Midianites “in this MIGHT OF YOURS” to save Israel? This should have been the final word to Gideon and removed any doubt in his mind that God would give him the victory over his enemies. God, in amazing patience, continues to assure Gideon of the calling He is giving him, “And the LORD said to him, ‘Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man’” (verse 16). In these simple words God was telling Gideon “I will be with you to give you the strength to defeat the Midianites,” yet still Gideon’s faith is weak and he asks for a SIGN that it is truly GOD HIMSELF speaking to him (see verse 17). Later, Gideon will ask for another sign (twice!) so he would know that God was not only speaking to him, but that God’s message of victory by his hand was true (see verses 36-40). Gideon’s faith did increase and thus he believed the message and went on to defeat the Midianites “in God’s strength” (you can read about this in chapter 7).

We have seen that it was indeed God that called Gideon directly and that He also “qualified Gideon” for the battle by “being with him and giving him the victory.” So, what is the lesson for us today? I believe it is simple: If God is calling us to serve Him, He will also equip us for the mission! It will NOT be in our own strength that we serve him but by His presence and power. The Apostle Paul illustrates this truth in Romans 1:1 & 5, “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, CALLED AS AN APOSTLE, set apart for the gospel of God….THROUGH WHOM WE HAVE RECEIVED GRACE AND APOSTLESHIP to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake” (NASB). Paul KNEW that his CALLING was from God Himself and that God’s GRACE would enable him to fulfill that calling! Later he wrote these words to the saints at Corinth, “Than He (Jesus) appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, NOT I, BUT THE GRACE OF GOD WITH ME.” Paul learned his lesson well; it is God and His grace WITH US that will enable us to complete any mission that He gives us. Gideon eventually learned this lesson too. Has my fellow-believer in Christ learned this lesson?  (DO)  (493.3)