In Judges chapter 6, we find what seems to be one of the great Biblical ironies. “11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrahthat belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a wine press to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior’.”
Here we have a man hiding in a wine press to prepare his wheat for fear that his oppressors will come and take it from him. And the angel of the Lord appears and addresses him as “mighty warrior.” Okay, God see things differently than we do, but this one is worth a brief chuckle.
This man of “might,” isn’t even a man of absolute faith. God next demonstrates His power when “20 The angel of God said to him, ‘Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.’ And Gideon did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, ‘Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face’!” So, “Wow, I have seen an angel. I have seen the power of God. I should do what God tells me as it is the Lord. Right?” Wrong, Gideon asks for more signs.
“36 Gideon said to God, ‘If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.’ 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, ‘Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.’ 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.”
Gideon is a man of contradictions. But in them he is so much like many of us. We strive to be fearless. We strive to show faith. But we still often find the wine presses to hide in. We want that one last dry fleece. Yet, Gideon proved to be what God called him to be, a brave leader! What has He called you to be today? Remember there is no irony with God, He sees it as it is.