The Word for today:
While it cannot be denied that Gideon became a man of great faith who led his people to victory, his story teaches us that God uses the weak to confound the strong, and to display His glory. Gideon was the least likely leader in all of Israel:
"Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house." (Judges 6:15)
Gideon and his clan were the weakest, but they were still not weak enough for God to use. So God pared them down even further:
The LORD said to Gideon, "The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.' Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, 'Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.'" Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained. And the LORD said to Gideon, "The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, 'This one shall go with you,' shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, 'This one shall not go with you,' shall not go." (Judges 7:2-4)
God culled the army of Gideon from 32,00 to 10,000 to 300 (armed with pitchers and lanterns, no less) so that Gideon would learn that victory is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).
Many of us are too capable to be used of God, because we are liable to confuse our talents for His power:
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
What we learn from Gideon is that if you were voted least likely to succeed by your high school classmates; if the handsome quarterback stole your lunch and your girlfriend and kicked sand in your face; if ever you were told that you’ll never amount to anything, then you’re just the guy whom God can use.