Greetings all,

In working on Judges drafts & lessons, I find in my study that some commentators/preachers like to point out all the weaknesses and negatives of these “Judges” of old, including Gideon. Yes, they surely had their weaknesses and faults, but I sometimes think the big picture of what God is trying to teach us through these judges gets lost in the shuffle. As we enter the Christmas season here is a neat parallel that I don’t think God wants us to miss in the story of Gideon:

But Gideon answered and said, “Pardon me, sir. How can I save Israel? My family group is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh, and I am the youngest one in my family.” The LORD answered Gideon and said, “I will be with you, so you can defeat the Midianites as easily as if they were only one man.” –Judges 6:15-16

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, are the smallest town in Judah. Your family is almost too small to count, but the “Ruler of Israel” will come from you to rule for me. His beginnings are from ancient times, from long, long ago.–Micah 5:2

The Lord used Gideon, a poor and unlikely man in the world’s standards, to save the Israelites from the Midianites, and he used Jesus, a poor and unlikely man in the world’s standards, to save us and give us eternal life.

I am reminded that the Lord is using the Wana people, who are considered by some to be among the least in Asia Pacific, to have a huge impact in that region of the world. The Lord is also wanting to use us/me, who are considered of little value to the world, to carry this wonderful gospel message to others. We need to remember:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.–Isaiah 55:8-9

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are…–1Corinthians 1:27-28

When I see Gideon I see me, and just like God pulled Gideon up out of a winepress (hiding from the outside world) to use him, thus, He also wants to use me. Just wanted to share a little of what God showed me this morning,

God Bless,

Ed Casteel

Church Planting Asia Pacific