I’ve never known much about Gideon. He’s always been one of those “Bible names” to me, not someone I thought very important like Noah or David. But I read his story recently, and so much of it blew me away.
One of the most striking parts of his story takes place in Judges 7:13-15. Gideon is a faithful follower of the Lord and the leader of the Israelite army. In Judges 7, the Lord has just told Gideon he will win the upcoming battle against the Midianites, and Gideon trusts the Lord but is still anxious (rings a bell in my life…). So God tells Him to sneak down to the Midianite camp and listen. He says what Gideon hears will greatly encourage him. So…
“Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, ‘I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!’
His companion answered, ‘Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!’
When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the Lord. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and shouted, ‘Get up! For the Lord has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!'”
What hits me hardest in this passage is who God uses to bring Gideon comfort and assurance. The fact that they’re his enemies is strange enough. But more than that, these people are strangers. Soldiers. Commoners. We don’t even get their names, simply “a man” and “his companion.”
God chose two “nobodies” to bring massive encouragement to Gideon. And more than that, we see that these men are wise. The first has the discernment to realize his dream is a message from God. The second has the wisdom to interpret it. Though we don’t even know the names or backgrounds of these two men, God teaches us through their story.
He teaches us to always be looking at things through the lens of His kingdom. He teaches us to live righteously, because we never know who’s watching or listening. And above all, He shows us that everyone can be used by God. No one is insignificant.
When you feel ill-equipped to serve Him, too foolish to give encouragement, too small to make a difference, remember this story. Remember the impact two common soldiers had on God’s plan and that their story ended up in the most-read Book of all time.
Nobody is a nobody.