If you’re one of the people who reads this blog every day but doesn’t necessarily read the Bible chapter that goes with it, I urge you to read Judges 6. I am nearly beside myself with delight at the picture of God in this chapter. The Israelites are at their idol worship once again, when God realizes that there is a man—Gideon—who has a willingness to listen. Even though he has grown up in a home where his father worshiped Baal and Asherah, Gideon is apparently open in his heart to an audience with the Lord.
And, just like that, the Lord shows up at his house. He waltzes onto the family property and plops Himself underneath the oak tree where Gideon is threshing wheat... and He strikes up a conversation with him. Just like that. No fanfare. No pomp and circumstance. Just the Creator, come to hang out with one of His creatures.
He tells Gideon that he has the strength to liberate Israel, and Gideon doesn’t believe Him. But, just in case, Gideon asks Him for a sign. He asks the Lord to wait whilst he prepares a meal for Him. And God simply responds, "I will wait." When Gideon returns some time later with a fresh meal, the Lord touches it with the staff in His hand and—poof!—a fire flares up and consumes it.
Of course, you probably know the more famous part of the chapter, where Gideon eventually asks the Lord for two signs involving a fleece... just to be sure that he was really supposed to head off to war. And, on an interesting side note, God grants both of the signs. So don’t ever think that faith means the absence of questions. God loves questions! Faith means a willingness to listen to the answers.
But, back to the first part of the chapter... God is just a guy who wants friends. It is striking to me that wherever He perceives a willing ear and an open heart, He’ll show up out of the blue. Even just to sit for a while underneath the tree and talk to us while we work. If we ask Him to wait, He’ll wait. If we ask Him for a sign, He’ll give us one. At the end of the day, the most important thing to God is the opportunity to build a relationship. Maybe He really is just one of the lads.