Looking Past the Past

Gideon’s story is probably one of my favorite stories in the book of Judges. Not necessarily because of what he does, but really concerning everything that before he does anything.

God visits Gideon while he is threshing wheat in a winepress hiding from the Midianites. Winepresses were usually holes in the ground–either carved out of rock or pits. It is not somewhere you would just go to relax, as we can see as Gideon is grinding up wheat.

Therefore, God had to seek Gideon out. He had to look for him. Gideon was not with everyone else. He was away from the city trying to hide. And God found him.

The conversation that ensues after God shows up to Gideon is so full of truth.

God calls Gideon a mighty man of valor, but Gideon argues with God, claiming that he is from the weakest tribe in Manasseh and is the weakest son of his father. Gideon is arguing with God about how worthless he is.

God does not scold Gideon for his unbelief. God just reiterates what He said in the first place. God knows what He said. He did not misspeak. God is the source of truth, therefore, He can only speak truth.

But, Gideon was not courageous. God found him hiding in a hole in the ground. Without reading the rest of the story where Gideon became courageous, how do you reconcile that God called Gideon courageous when, it is obvious, he was not?

What if God was not concerned with where Gideon was at at that moment? What if, instead of emphasizing Gideon’s current state, God was focused on what Gideon was going to become? Instead of pointing out the frailty of Gideon’s character, physical appearance, or heritage, God elevates who Gideon will become.

That is the difference between Christianity and every other world religion. While other religions do place an emphasis on who you will become, they tend to focus on your past and how to reconcile that. The God of the Bible looks past your past, through your current state, straight to who you will be: Jesus.

He does not see the sexually abused, self-conscious sorority girl.

He sees a beautiful, restored daughter.

He does not see the lonely, forgotten computer nerd.

He sees a bold, courageous warrior.

He does not see a broken, bruised heart of stone.

He sees a new, redeemed heart of flesh.

Do not be Gideon, offering up pathetic excuses to God why you are not qualified, good enough, or worth it. Because, you are right. You are not qualified, good enough, or worth it. But, God looks past the past to see perfected work of His Son, Jesus.

And you should too.

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