If you have ever thought, why me?, relative to God’s blessings in your life, you are probably a recipient of grace and can think of yourself as one of God’s chosen people. The word translated grace in Judges 6:17, chên (khane) means kindness or favor. In English, to show grace to someone would be equivalent to saying I like you or I love you.
A better way to understand grace is to put it in the context of the phrase in which it usually occurs, “grace in thy sight” (Judges 6:17). Looking at it this way, it is clear that it has something to do with God watching over his children. One of the characteristics of being in love is that you can’t take your eyes off the person, whenever he walks into the room, you immediately notice him and in a room full of people, he is the one that you pay attention to. To have grace in God’s sight means that he is paying special attention to you and is constantly watching you to make sure you are okay.
There are few people in the Old Testament of the Bible that received grace in God’s sight. Along with Noah and Abraham, Gideon is recorded as a recipient of God’s favor. Grace is neither earned or deserved, it is merely a result of the fact that God wants to bless people and looks for opportunities to do so. I sometimes wonder if I had anything at all to do with becoming a member of God’s family and the only thing I have been able to come up with to explain it is that I was a complete failure and had no hope of ever changing.
When the LORD looked upon Gideon and said, “Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites” (Judges 6:14), Gideon’s response was “my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (Judges 6:15). Gideon did not understand why God would want to use him and felt he was the least qualified person to lead God’s people to victory, but God’s grace was all he really needed and it was obviously enough because it says when the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said to him, “The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour” (Judges 6:12).
The word translated valour, chayil (khah´ yil) refers to power that is obtained through position, such as those that are a part of the upper class of society, or through wealth. Gideon’s recognition and acknowledgement that his family had no money and he was in the lowest position in the family indicates that he was a recipient of grace, there is no other way the angel’s statement could have been true. It is no wonder Gideon asked for a sign that God’s grace was really his, something he could rely on, it was truly unbelievable that he would lead the Israelites to victory against the Midianites.