Bungy jumping is fun, apparently! I have never done it. If I would do it I would want assurance that I would live to tell how fun it was. So, I wonder, “What assurances would I need before I jumped?” One kind of assurance I would want is the right answer to the questions, “How new is the bungy cord? Trust me it has to be really new!
When asked to do hard things warriors need assurances. Often these are linked to our sense of identity. How we see and think about ourselves increases or decreases our “can do”.
Gideon was no different. He needed assurance the invitation from God was not a dream or his own desire to end the Midianite oppression. Gideon discovered over the course of a few hours that the source of his confidence was in the assurances of God. Speaking to the angel of God Gideon asked for verification, “If I have found favour in your eyes give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Here is the sign, please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return!” (Judges 6:17-18)
When Gideon returned with his offering he found the Lord waiting just as he promised. The Lord received the offering and gave two assurances that it was indeed Him speaking – 1.) Gideon’s offering, sitting on a rock was consumed by fire; and 2.) After the angel disappeared Gideon heard the voice of God speak, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You have seen my presence in the angel but you will not die.” (Judges 6:20-23).
Gideon was being asked to do a hard thing! He discovered God does not ask us to do hard things then abandon us to figure out how to get it done. What He does is give us assurances along the way starting with our identity (Judges 6:12) and the promise of His presence, “I will be with you!” (Judges 6:16). Assurances come because God knows we need them!
Assurances are to be remembered! It is in the midst of the circumstances of life where we must not forget God’s assurances. Hard things are demanding and can in the midst of trials cause us to forget who God is and who He is for us. Forgetting makes us vulnerable to discouragement, deceptions, being dismayed and fearful and to hearing the voice of diminishment. Remembering God’s assurances helps us to deflect all these away. So, Gideon built an altar on the spot he met God naming it, THE LORD IS PEACE!
Why peace! It is because God asks us to do hard and unnatural things. His ask demands we be ready to do the impossible, irrational and the improbable and that we do it with the assurance that He will show up. In this we take refuge in the assurance of His peace! God will help us to do what He asks us to do. Assurance needed… assurance promised… assurance delivered!