Wednesday, April 28, 2010

God's compassion

I am fascinated by these imperfect humans in the Bible whom God chose to show His glory through! Yesterday I read about Gideon in Judges 6 & 7. God told Gideon he would rescue Israel from the Midianites, but Gideon doubted God and asked for a sign (Gideon put out a fleece—twice!). Then a little later, the Lord flat-out tells Gideon, "I have given you victory over them. But if you are afraid to attack, go down to their camp with your servant Puran. Listen to what the Midianites are saying and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack." (Judges 7:9-11)

What kind of God is this? That seems like a pretty compassionate thing of God to offer!! He could have said, "Look, Gideon. I already told you straight-up that I will make you win the battle—just believe what I said! I am God! Who are you to question or doubt me?!" But instead God gives Gideon an opportunity to be encouraged by eavesdropping on the Midianite army. He didn't have to do that for Gideon. Amazing.

It is also interesting to me that Gideon is listed among others in Hebrews 11 as a "great example of faith"—despite his questioning God, "Give me proof that You will do what You say."

It just makes me say, Thank you, God, that You are merciful!

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him!" [Psalm 103:13]


Irritable Mother said...

Yes, God is kind and gracious. He is so patient!
It's encouraging to consider what He could have said - what would have been totally reasonable for Him to say - and then to delight in His heart as you realize God's compassion, based on what He did say.
Love those moments with Him!

luvmy4sons said...

God knows a heart. I have often wondered the same thing about Zacharias and Mary. Both wondered about what God was telling them but Zacharias was muted and Mary was not scolded at all. Maybe God knew Gideon was truly just seeking God's will and not testing Him. I love how God consistently shows how He uses imperfect people to perform His will. Gives me encouragement. Blessings!