Purpose In The Pit


 Today's pit belongs to Gideon.  Technically, it's not a pit.   It's a wine press, and Gideon is in the bottom of it, by choice.  

He is trying to thresh wheat, an almost impossible task in the bottom of a wine press.  To thresh or winnow, he would throw the wheat husks in the air and the wind would blow away the lighter chaff while the heavier grains fell to the ground to harvest.  I can't imagine there was much wind in the bottom of the winepress, but at least it was safe.

Gideon was hiding and threshing in his pit.  He was hiding the harvest from the Midianites but he was also hiding himself.  Judges 6:2 tells us that many Israelites were hiding in mountains and caves and Gideon was no exception.  

But God saw something in Gideon.  

An angel of the Lord came to him while he was hiding and threshing and greeted him as a hero.

I wonder if Gideon didn't look around to see if someone else was in the winepress with him, someone who actually was a hero.  But no one else was there. 

And it's here that we see that Gideon wasn't only afraid, he was also in doubt.   The angel told him the Lord was with him but Gideon didn't believe it.   

"If the Lord is with me, why are we all in hiding?  Where are the miracles we heard about?  I think God has just abandoned us."

But the angel of the Lord simply tells him to rescue Israel.   He tells Gideon he is strong for it.  

Gideon doesn't feel strong, and he certainly doesn't feel brave.   He says he is the weakest in his family and that his family is the weakest in the tribe.  

The Lord doesn't take no for answer and lets Gideon know that He's not alone.  

Poor Gideon is afraid of everything.   He is afraid of the Midianites, and when he realizes he is actually talking to the Lord, he is afraid that he is going to die because he saw the Lord's face.  And although he obeys and does what the Lord asks him to do, he does it at night because he is afraid.  

Gideon destroys the altars of Baal and goes on to build an army, (which God asks him to scale down considerably) and he leads a charge against the Midianites that is almost comical when the  Midianites begin to fight each other in a chaotic battle.   

Gideon's pit was really his hiding place,  God found him there, and reminded him he had nothing to fear. God would always be with him.

 If, like Gideon, your pitfall is fear, doubt, or lack of confidence, know this:  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  No weapon formed against you will prosper and God will never leave you or forsake you.