Gideon: Warrior or Whiner?

There are lots of titles people give us. For example, I am known as wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter, niece, aunt, friend, teacher, mentor, leader, coach, and a host of other titles. God has names for me too.

If you could choose the name, or descriptor, God would refer to you as, what would you choose? Beloved? Friend? Chosen one? His child? Peter? Paul? Abraham? Sarah?

What would you choose?

What best describes you and your walk with God? Does that change your choice? Can you still honestly stick with the first choice you made? Why or why not?

Let’s look at someone that God called by something that wasn’t exactly their name, and yet it was.


The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:11-12

 God spoke to Gideon in the form of an angel. Pretty awesome, huh?
Here Gideon is hiding away in a winepress threshing his wheat under cover from the Midianites and God shows up.
Ok, maybe not so awesome. Do we really want God to come meet up with us when we’re undercover and pouting?
Not only does God show up, he address Gideon by name. “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.
Merriam Webster dictionary defines a warrior as : a person who fights in battles and is known for having courage and skill.
That doesn’t match the Gideon we just met, does it?
He’s hiding in a winepress to do his job. Definitely no fighting and hiding doesn’t equal courage.
Judges612bBut Gideon doesn’t quite accept the charge.
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13
And Gideon questions God.
Why, God? Where, God? God has abandoned us and given us to the Midianites to abuse.
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”  Judges 6:14
God seems to use selective hearing on Gideon’s questions. He simply answers with, “Go in your strength because I have sent you.”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:15
Excuses. Polite excuses, but excuses still the same.
Not me, Lord. My clan is the weakest. I am the youngest in my family. I’m most definitely not the one you want, Lord. I’m not capable.
How many times does the Lord do the same exact thing to us?
Show up when we’re hiding away from the things or people that scare us and call us out to fight the very thing we were hiding from?
The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”  Judges 6:16
God tells Gideon the same thing He’s telling us today. “I’m going with you, you do what I said.” No long drawn out plan of attack. No specific step-by-step instructions. No plan B.
How often does God tell us to do something that we rationalize away? I’m not knowledgeable enough. I’m not a gifted speaker. I haven’t been trained in evangelism. I don’t know how to minister to others.
God isn’t calling me.
I’m hiding from my enemies. I’m too weak to fight. God could use someone actually strong. God doesn’t want a crybaby like me fighting this battle. I will just make things worse.
God doesn’t call the qualified or the strong. He uses the weak to confound the strong. He qualifies the called.
I encourage you to read the rest of Judges 6-Judges 8 to see how Gideon’s story plays out. Gideon lives up to his name, after testing God to his satisfaction.
What can we learn from Gideon? What is one thing you took away from this today? Usually I give quite a bit more away, but today I would like to start a dialogue where I can learn from you as much as you can learn from me. Let’s discuss Gideon and his God-sized Goals.


  • Gideon is probably somewhere between warrior and whiner. He was certainly brave and as long as we all try and be brave in diffcult situations then the lesson has been learned.

  • My favorite line in this blog, “Excuses. Polite excuses, but excuses still the same.” How often do I fall back on how “nice” I can make an excuse, that it won’t really be an excuse?! Thanks for reminding me – an excuse is an excuse is an excuse. Just do it!!

  • I think we’re always going to have doubts that we are up to the task at hand, or wish we could have some definite sign that we’re doing the right thing. But we can’t sit on our hands waiting for that to happen.

  • I love this!
    God seems to use selective hearing on Gideon’s questions. He simply answers with, “Go in your strength because I have sent you.”

    This is exactly how I feel in regards to my mom! He has sent me and will go before me, supplying all my needs and will be my rear guard!

  • on the other hand – if God wanted us to be fearless, not asking questions, not doubting Him, etc, He’d created us that way, wouldn’t He? 🙂

  • I always think when reading these stories, if God comes and actually talks to you why are you questioning Him?? I wonder how I would respond to something like that, unfortunately I would probably be much the same trying to make some silly excuse.

  • When I run into these passages, I feel like God is speaking directly to me. I am good at believing I’m not good enough and surely He doesn’t want me to do this.