I hope one day my epitaph will read as Gideon’s does. You may ask here, “What epitaph is that?”
First, let me assure it’s not the title “O Valiant Warrior.” While these were the words indeed spoken by the angel of God to Gideon, they hardly described the man. Take a quick look at Judges 6… Did you catch what he was doing when confronted by his message-bringer?
He was hidden from the view of everyone, trying to salvage some wheat in a wine-press of all places. Just so you know, wine-presses aren’t ideal for threshing wheat. This process is best done on an open hill so that the chaff blows away with the wind.
When Gideon is given the moniker “O Valiant Warrior,” he’s cowering from fear of the Midianites’ oppression of Israel. For seven long years these people have watched their crops, livestock, and homes being raided and destroyed by the people of Midian. It’s as though the angel visiting Gideon addresses him with a bit of sly sarcasm.
We know the rest of the story though, don’t we? God will rise up a mighty (well, modestly small may be a better description) army of three hundred men, and He Himself will deliver Israel from their enemies’ hands (Judges 6-7).
So what about that epitaph? I’ve already assured you it is not “A Valiant Warrior,” but it is recorded for us all to read. Many years after Gideon was gone, the author of Hebrews would give us a line from his elegy… the one I long to have also. So what does it read?
“From Weakness (Gideon) was Made Strong.” Hebrews 11:34
While we were still slaves to our sin, Jesus came and conquered both sin and death, that we might be made more than conquerors in Him.