April 2, 2023
Today we read from Judges chapter 6 through 8 about the fifth judge of Israel, a man named Gideon. I have always found Gideon to be an interesting study.
Chapter 6 –
Sadly once again Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, then the cried out in a desperate appeal for divine intervention. God reminds them through a prophet all He has done for them beginning with their deliverance from Egypt.
Normally wheat is threshed in a place where the wind will blow away the chaff but Gideon was threshing it in a winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites. Things were bleak, Gideon was hiding. Gideon was confused if God was with Israel where they suffering. He felt as though God had abandoned them. Gideon was most likely surprised when God tapped him to deliver Israel again. His first task was to tear down the altar of Baal. The people demanded that his father give him up for execution, that is how bad idolatry was in the country. Gideon had heard God’s promise of deliverance but he wanted further assurance. God gave him instructions but he wanted to test God with a fleece on two occasions.
Gideon was the perfect example of God I believe, help my unbelief.
Chapter 7 –
The time to fight had come but God had a surprise for him. You have too many troops. He tells him to send home the ones that are afraid, which reduces his forces by twenty thousand. He then tells him again he has too many and he is to take them to get a drink and he further divides them on how they drink.
God has promised that He will hand over the Midianites to Gideon and he tells him to camp near them and outlines His plan for their conquering. When Gideon first got the boost of encouragement, he first bowed in worship no doubt thanking God for the victory.
Let the church take notice, even when we do not understand everything and think the odds are against us, God calls us to watch Him work.
Chapter 8 –
The men of Ephraim were upset because they were called at the end of the battle rather than the beginning. Gideon told them the mopping up was equally important in battle. Gideon and his army soon grew weary of chasing down the Midianite kings so he asks for food from the city of Succoth. Gideon was not happy they would not help and promised to tear down their tower. He captured the two kings and on the way home he whipped the leaders of Succoth and destroyed their tower.
Gideon rejected the offer to become king yet he asked for the gold earrings from the spoil of battle. Unfortunately with the earrings he made an ephod and it became a spiritual trap for Israel. They became unfaithful yet again.
Eventually, Gideon died and immediately and the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshipping false gods in worshiping “baal of the covenant.”