"Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you."
DNA (deoxyribonucleic) is a molecule responsible for transmitting the genetic instructions for growth, development, function and reproduction. In terms of human beings, DNA stores the biological material containing the coded heredity which determines WHO YOU ARE.
The awesome thing about having received Christ the Messiah as Lord, is that the miracle of salvation and rebirth guarantees that in Christ, all becomes new! Faith in God’s word activates His Kingdom DNA resulting in the “new man,” and quite often, a tension between the old and the latter.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor 5:17KJV)
The story of Gideon in Judges 6 (NLT) wonderfully depicts the powerful transformation which results from the presence of God. Israel had been handed over by God to the Midianites and other eastern peoples, a consequence of sinning against God. These enemies, described as hordes of locus, would raid their land, destroying all of their crops and stealing all of their cattle and livestock, leaving Israel with no sustenance. Terrorism and severe starvation threatened Israel’s survival. Living in a state of constant fear and panic, they built caves and hid themselves in the mountains. Can you imagine life without the hope of a promise or future, the very thing that their covenant with YHWH guaranteed? Israel cried out to the Lord for help, and as usual God sent a deliverer, after he sent a prophet to prompt Israel’s repentance.
One day Gideon was hiding grain at the bottom of a winepress and was inadvertently changed by an encounter with the Angel of the Lord who appeared with this divine greeting, “Mighty hero, The Lord is with you!” Hero, translated as ‘warrior’ in the KJV, suggests a change in Gideon's status and posture. Gideon responded as many of us would have, “If the Lord is with us, why has all of this happened to us? Where are all the miracles? Didn't they say the Lord brought us up out of Egypt? Now he has abandoned us…” Boy! Some hero!
The Angel of the Lord refused to entertain Gideon’s sad song, full of accusations and complaints. He continued to speak to the spirit of the man having the DNA of a hero-warrior! "God with Gideon" would activate his warrior spirit.
“Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
Surely that would have been enough, an angel being sent to confirm my life’s purpose! However, Gideon tried his best to convince the Angel of the Lord that he had the wrong person, by explaining that he was the least of the weakest tribe! Again, the Angel of the Lord ignored Gideon’s list of personal human frailties, and instead continued to reveal to Gideon his true identity, who he was with God, a warrior-hero!
The angel’s greeting suggests that either the Lord made a mistake, or Gideon didn't know who he was. Gideon’s response indicates that his fear, frustration and hopelessness, resulting from real-life events, had diminished his faith in YHWH. Where is God? His self-image, based on the natural order of things, resulted in a strong sense of incapability. I’m not your guy!
The great thing about this story is that the Angel of the Lord continued to speak to the "with God" Gideon, “…and you will destroy the Midianties as if you were fighting against one man” (16). Gideon, YOU ARE a warrior-hero!
Folks: In order to accomplish God’s will, you will need to draw from your new DNA, made possible by being in Christ!
To be continued...