Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press to hide it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, "The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior." Gideon answered him, "But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Midian." Judges 6: 11-13 NRSV
Gideon can't hear.
The angel of the Lord appears to him and says that God is with Gideon and that Gideon is a fine warrior.
But Gideon turns that around to ask where God is with the people. Here he is beating the wheat in the wine press in order to hide from the enemies who have been terrorizing the Israelites. Now a prophet had recently told the Israelites that they had been abandoned because they had abandoned God. God pointedly says they have worshipped other gods "...but have not given heed to my voice." Judges 6:10b
The angel has said God is with Gideon but Gideon doesn't hear that. He is less focused on God's presence in his life and more focused on the absence of God in the lives of his people.
An angel of the Lord has appeared to him!
The angel has told him God is with him!
God pronounces that Gideon is a great warrior!
This conversation is beginning to remind me of one in the Gospel of Luke where the angel of the Lord appears to Zechariah in the temple.
How often does the angel of the Lord appear to us and we can't hear what is said? Or we deny what is said? Or we don't believe God's pronouncement?
Instead, we have a major argument with God about a whole bunch of other issues. If we just listened and obeyed, perhaps what God is saying to us will actually impact all those other things.
If only we would listen.
God, give us ears to hear! In Jesus' Holy name. Amen.
Question of the day: What is God saying to you that you are ignoring?
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims