Last night I watched the VeggieTale “Gideon: Tuba Warrior” with Joshua and got to relive the amazing story of Gideon from the book of Judges. My favorite part? The fact that Gideon was hiding in a winepress when he’s first visited by the angel. The angel says, “Greetings, mighty man of valor.”
It’s more than an incorrect statement by the angel; it’s a statement that contradicts the reality of the situation. It would be a little like if last Sunday, while I was cursing under my breath outside because I was being outsmarted by a stupid caulk gun, an angel came to me and said “Greetings, home repair master.”
The angel did just that. He showed up in a situation and made a statement that was not only wrong, but it was completely contrary to the apparent facts. The mighty warrior was cowering in a storage facility, hiding from the very people he would supposedly defeat. Clearly what we’ve got on our hands is a delusional angel.
Or maybe what we’ve got here is a God sending an angel who operates on a different scale entirely than what appears to be. I think that’s an important distinction to make – just because God doesn’t operate on our scale of reality doesn’t mean that His scale is any less real. The difference here is that God isn’t just wishing Gideon was a mighty warrior; Gideon, in God’s eyes, really is a mighty warrior. Let’s put it another way.
Our reality said that David was the youngest kid, a shepherd boy. God argued he was a king. Our reality said Moses was a murdered who had walked around the desert for 40 years; God argued he was a deliverer. Our reality said that Saul was another murderer, someone who hated the name of Christ. God argued he was the greatest missionary in the history of the world.
But all those examples don’t hit quite close to home as the Gideon one for me. For me, in this story it’s most clear that God refuses to be let His reality be ruled by circumstance. He abides by truth in a way that far exceeds what things appear to be. That’s why he can look at a man who is hiding in a winepress and cheerfully exclaim, “Howdy, mighty warrior!”
And that’s why, every single day, He can look down at us, at me, in the midst of many times senseless and repetitive sin, hiding in our own winepresses, and say “Hello, my righteous son.” See, what God did to Gideon He does every day for us. Though we hide in winepresses, we are mighty warriors. Though we play around with senseless sin, we are righteous saints. This is the identity which God has made for us because of Christ. And today, I’m thankful that His reality looks different than my circumstances.