Gideon, An Unlikely Hero – 6

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gs - c.h. mackintosh

Charles Henry Mackintosh (October 1820 – November 2, 1896) was a nineteenth-century Christian preacher, dispensationalist, writer of Bible commentaries, magazine editor and member of the Plymouth Brethren. In 1843, Mackintosh wrote his first tract entitled Peace with God. When he was 24, he opened a private school where he developed a special method of teaching classical languages. Mackintosh went around preaching the gospel to the poor during school holidays. He wrote to John Nelson Darby on August 31, 1853 that the Lord had “called me into larger service than ever,” and he soon concluded that he must give himself entirely to preaching, writing, and public speaking.

Gideon, An Unlikely Hero Part 6

It mattered little to Gideon whether his family was rich or poor; whether he was little or great. It was God who was about to use him? What was wealth or greatness to Him? He could use a barley cake or a broken pitcher. Indeed we may observe this special feature in the varied “vessels” God chose to use as recorded in the book of Judges, namely, that “no flesh shall glory in God’s presence.” As examples, how human glory fades away before the humiliating fact that Israel’s hosts were called forth to battle under the leadership of a woman! (Judges 4-5). Or, what a stain on human pride in the fact of deliverance coming through the agency of a “left-handed man”! (Judges 3:12-30).

But, on the other hand, we find that just in proportion as man’s glory fades away, the divine glory shines out. The humbler the instrument, the more we see the power of God. What difference does it make to Almighty God whether His instrument is left-handed or right-handed—a man or a woman—a dwarf or a giant? The vessel is nothing: God is all in all. True, He deigns to use whom He chooses as vessels or instruments of His doing; but all the power is His, and His shall be the eternal and universal praise. Gideon had to learn this; and so did Moses; and so have we all. It is an invaluable lesson. We are all so prone to think of our competency for any work or service which may lie before us, when we ought to remember that of all His works that are done upon the earth, God is the doer of them. Our sufficiency is of Him. We can do nothing; and if we could do anything, it would be badly done. The human finger can only leave a stain behind. The works of men perish like their thoughts. The work of God abides forever. Let us remember these things, that we may walk humbly and lean ever and only on the mighty arm of the living God. Thus the soul is kept in a well-balanced condition, free from self-confidence and fleshly excitement, on the one hand; and from gloom and depression, on the other. If we can do nothing, self-confidence is the height of presumption. If God can do everything, despondency is the height of folly.

But in the case of Gideon, as in that of all God’s servants, we observe two things worthy of our deepest attention. In the first place, we have the divine commission, as embodied in those weighty words, “Have not I sent thee? And in the second place, we have the assurance of the divine presence, as set forth in these encouraging words, “Surely I will be with thee.

These are the two grand points for all who will serve God in their day and generation. They must know that the path they tread has been marked out distinctly by the hand of God; and, furthermore, they must have the sense of His presence with them along the path. These things are absolutely essential. Without them we shall waver and teeter. We shall be running from one line of work to another. We shall take up certain work, go on with it for a while, and then abandon it for something else. We shall work by fits and starts; our course will be faltering, our light flickering: “Unstable as water, we shall not excel.” – Genesis 49:4. There will be no certainty, no stability, no progress without God leading us and being with us.

These are weighty matters for all of us. It is of immense importance for every servant of Christ, every child of God, to know that he is at his divinely appointed post, and at his divinely given work. This will give fixedness of purpose, moral elevation, and holy independence. It will preserve us from being tossed about by human thoughts and opinions—being influenced by the judgment of one or another. It is our happy privilege to be so sure that we are doing the very work which the Master has given us to do, that the thoughts of our fellows respecting us shall have no more weight with us than the pattering of rain on the window.

Not, that we should for a moment, countenance, much less cultivate, a spirit of haughty independence. Far away be the thought! We as Christians, can never, in one sense, be independent one of another. How can we, seeing we are members one of another? We are united to one another and to our risen Head in glory, by the one Spirit who is with us and in us. The most intense individuality—and our individuality should be as intense as our unity is enduring—can never touch the precious truth of the one body and one Spirit.

To Be Continued

gs gideon unlikely hero

Minor adaptation of excerpts from C. H Mackintosh, Gideon and His Companions. Public Domain.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from The Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV) Public Domain.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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