As I’ve been preparing for the Turning, I’ve been reminded of the story of Gideon in the book of Judges. He lived in a time when the people of Israel were not really close to God and the Midianites were regularly taking away their crops and intimidating them. His response was to hide away in a wine press and thresh wheat there so that his family could be fed. He is approached by an angel but immediately talks about what’s wrong in Israel. God’s response is to ignore what he says and call him to go and save the nation.
As we approach the Turning, I feel like a lot of excuses and disappointments come to mind about why things won’t work, but I’ve stepped out before and seen God do stuff and it’s time for me to step out again..
I like the way that Gideon’s army was chosen to be those who slurped the water at a river, a team of 300 from a potential pool of tens of thousands. Sometimes it feels like we’re a small number out of what could be if all the evangelicals in Oxford came out on the streets, but how many of us does God need to see a change for him?
You then see Gideon and his small army standing in the middle of the Midianite camp with torches and trumpets in their hands. Not exactly conventional weapons of war if you have a small army. How about holding a bit of paper with a few words on it and using it to talk to people on the streets. Sound equally mad? But that’s how it works ! We do our bit and stand there and say a few things and it’s God’s job to do the rest.