Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

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The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” “Pardon me, my Lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, “Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?” But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:11-14)

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed (Romans 13:11).

Many of us can remember childhood games of hide-and-seek. One child would count in order to give the others a chance to hide. Then the call would go out- “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” In Judges, Gideon was hiding in the winepress to stay away from the enemy. The truth is- he was hiding behind so much more.

Obviously, he was hiding behind fear of the enemy. He was hiding behind disillusionment with God because he was not seeing God’s miracles and wonders. He was hiding behind unworthiness because he felt he was the least of the Israelites. At the same time God was calling him “mighty warrior.” God saw the greater purpose for Gideon. Gideon was hiding behind so much stuff that he could not see the greater purpose.

Bible characters were people just like us. We also hide behind things and are blinded to the fact that God has so much more for us. We need to come out of hiding and allow God to do what he desires to do in our lives.

Often we fall into sin and hide behind our guilt. We feel that God is through with us – we disqualify ourselves. Proverbs 24:16 says, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” Our Heavenly Father is not surprised when we fall. He is ready to help us get up and get back on track. When all is said and done, God’s people will be the ones who are still standing despite the times they have fallen.

Loss is something we have to overcome. Whether it be the loss of a loved one, loss of a job or loss of a relationship- we must not hide in our feeling of loss. The Apostle Paul said, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4: 11-12). We may suffer times of loss and times of lack, but we can rest assured that He is taking care of us.

Finally, we have to come out from disillusionment. Notice the disillusionment and disappointment in Gideon’s words:

“Pardon me, my Lord, but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘ Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian” (Judges 6:13).

Gideon had real questions. Have we ever had questions?

Gideon was not reprimanded for having questions. Instead, the Lord said, “Go save Israel. Am I not sending you?” The same encouragement that Gideon received is the same encouragement God gives us. We may have questions. God can handle our questions.

So, let us determine to come out from all the things that hinder our sight of God’s purpose for us. When we do come out of hiding, His plans will be revealed to us in due time.

Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.

Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children  — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter  — Breanna. 

Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.

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