Come Out Of The Winepress

The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak tree 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
The message God gave to his complaining servant Gideon can probably be summarized in these words: "Stop complaining and come out of the Winepress."

The fact that Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress was significant. Wheat was normally threshed in a designated space called the threshing floor. Threshing floors were hard, smooth open spaces prepared on either rock or clay and carefully chosen for maximum exposure to the prevailing winds. This allowed the wind, which usually came out for a few hours a day, to blow the straw away, as the grain was tossed into the wind together with the straw, leaving the actual grain to fall on the floor. Threshing floors were no hiding places. They were visible spaces.

Wine presses were the opposite. They were square or circular pits that were either hewn out of rocks or even dug out of the ground. Gideon threshed out his wheat underground in a winepress, not in an exposed threshing floor. Why underground? So that he could hide from the prying eyes of his enemies -- the Midianites, who were ready to confiscate whatever little grain he was threshing.

Let's peep into Gideon's wine press for a moment:
His mindset was gloomy and depressed. He was complaining of divine rejection. He had lost hope of any redemption out of his situation. He had lost faith in the God who redeemed his ancestors from Egypt. He felt rejected by God. But God had a plan for his life. God wanted him out of the winepress and onto the battlefield to do exploits for God's glory.

You might find yourself in a winepress today, thinking all is lost. The winepress comes with a sense of failure, inadequacy, and hopelessness. It comes with a feeling of divine rejection. But the winepress is not your assigned final destination. God wants you out of the winepress and onto the battlefield to do some exploits. So, listen to the angel of the Lord and come out of the winepress today! God sees you as a mighty warrior ready to come out and do exploits!

Prayer: Father, I thank you that the winepress is not my final destination. By your grace, I will come out and do exploits like Gideon for your glory. Amen.