"As surely as the LORD lives, I wouldn't kill you if you hadn't killed
them." Turning to Jether, his oldest son, he said, "Kill them!" But
Jether did not draw his sword, for he was only a boy and was afraid.
Then Zebah and Zalmuna said to Gideon, "Don't ask a boy to do a man's
job! Do it yourself!" So Gideon killed them both..." (Judg 8:19-21)
Gideon expected much from his oldest son, but he was only a boy and had
no experience in battle. War cannot be taught in a classroom. Neither
can any man learn to fight by reading a book. The only way to know how
to fight is to fight. Even sparring in a gym can only teach a man the
art of fighting to a certain extent. The opponent and the situation and
environment makes it seem only like playing. The only way to acquire
courage is by taking risks in the challenges of life. Unless one has
been in a street fight, fighting for his life, he does not really
appreciate what it takes to be brave and win.
It is the same in the spiritual realm. We always quote Paul's words to
Timothy, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young." We
forget that Timothy walked and ministered with Paul for so many years
before Paul ever said this to him when Timothy was overseer in Ephesus.
Paul discipled Timothy by showing him a lifestyle and actual
apprenticeship in the challenges of life.
I have no problem letting any young person minister as I did when I was
young, but only according to his growth especially in the Word and
prayer. GOD prepared Moses for 40 long years; and he was already a
very skilled prince when the process of humbling began in the desert.
GOD prepared Joseph for 30 years before promoting him as governor of
Egypt. GOD prepared David for 30 years before promoting him as king of
Israel. In all these, the venue was the practical hardships of life
and how GOD revealed Himself through those tough times. Even the LORD
JESUS was prepared for 30 years before entering ministry.
What does this tell us? Preparation is of utmost importance to GOD. It
can't be done in a seminary, although it might help. Ministry and gifts
are also not inherited to sons. There is no nepotism in the Kingdom,
however, GOD does desire that we disciple our children and that they
become effective and faithful ministers.
Don't send a boy to do a man's job! Send a mature and faithful son of