Judges 6:17-21 – First Things First
(17) And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.
(18) Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.
(19) And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.
(20) And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.
(21) Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
After reading this passage, your first thought is most likely “Huh?” (mine was). Gideon is talking to this complete stranger and then he goes and brings the man a goat, ready to eat, and some bread, which the man sets on fire! For us, this seems like a very, very strange thing to just happen. However, what we are reading is an Old Testament offering. By now, it’s clear that the man Gideon is talking to is not a normal man, but “the angel of the Lord.” Based on both the stranger’s and Gideon’s reactions, it is safe to say that the visitor turns out to be God himself coming to talk to Gideon! Gideon, however, didn’t realize this until later. Although it is unclear what Gideon’s intentions were by bringing the food (he either wanted to be a good host and feed his guest, offer the food to the Lord, or perhaps see what the guest would do with it), he needed to bring something before he could start his mission for God. If Gideon realized it or not, he was bringing an offering to God before God was starting His work. The man then sets the offering on fire! This shows God’s acceptance of Gideon’s offering.
This is important to us because we see that offering comes before the work. In the Old Testament, they needed to offer animals to forgive sins and show thankfulness and devotion. Today, the ultimate sacrifice for sin is paid (Jesus Christ). However, that doesn’t mean that we are done giving offerings. We don’t sacrifice animals, but Paul tells us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1). We don’t sacrifice animals anymore, but our sacrifice is ourselves. Just like Gideon needed to give an offering before the work started, we need to give ourselves to God before we expect Him to start working through us.
Life Step: Think about it…
What does offering yourself to God look like in your life?
What parts of life do we tend to hold back offering to Him?