And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. - Judges 6:11-12
Imagine this scene with me if you will. Gideon is hiding out, going about his business of threshing wheat and hoping that he will be able to keep it from the Midianites. From reading previous chapters, it seems this was a typical day. Each time the crop of the children of Israel was ready for reaping, the Midianites would swarm down upon them and take the crop and all their animals. The Israelites lived in constant fear, hiding in caves and tents in the mountains. Gideon (the hero of our story) was no exception.
As he sits there in fear, God appears before him in the form of an angel. If that didn't get Gideon's attention, the words spoken surely did. "The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." Gideon turns around to see to whom the angel is speaking. No one is there. He looks over his other shoulder but still sees no one. Confused, he turns back to the angel who is staring straight at him. "Me?" he questions, pointing his finger to his chest. The angel nods, "Yes, you!"
What a strange scene! What an odd proclamation! Mighty? Gideon? Valour? The guy who's hiding by the winepress? That's not what I see when I read about Gideon, but thankfully, it's what God saw. To tie in with today's Song of the Day, when God looks at us, He doesn't see what we are but what we will become. When God looked at Gideon, he didn't see fear. He saw the man who was going to bring about a revival by leading the army of Israel in a suicide mission and coming out the victors. God saw a lump of clay and said, "I can do something with that." And that, my friend, is what He says each time He looks at you!