Chapter 6 – We ended chapter 5 with 40 years of peace in the land….. and the FIRST verse in chapter 6 states … AGAIN THE ISRAELITES DID EVIL IN THE EYES OF THE LORD… AND FOR 7 YEARS HE GAVE THEM INTO THE HANDS OF THE MIDIANITES.
Small recap … the Midianites were desert people descended from Abraham’s second wife Ketura (Gen 25:1,2) after Sarah died. Moses found refuge with the Midianites after he killed the Egyptian; he married a Midianite, and his father in law was Jethro, a Midianite Priest.
Once again… the situation became SO bad that the Israelites CRIED OUT to the LORD. Isn’t that the way it is for most of us??? We have had to hit ROCK BOTTOM before we cried out to the Lord.
And once again God will send another Judge .. another deliverer!! We are such blessed people to have a God who loves us so deeply that HE shows us his deep mercy and grace to send us a deliverer. OUR DELIVERER IS JESUS… THE FINAL DELIVERER!!
Jehovahshalom: The Lord is Peace (vs.6:24)
GIDEON — I’m sure you have heard his name before, but did you ever realize he was a JUDGE???
Gideon was hanging out at the winepress… doing his daily job (except what he is doing has nothing to do with wine… he was threshing wheat in a winepress so the Midianites would not know what he was doing). Threshing wheat was usually done on a mountain top, so the wind could aid the process but because of their oppression they were hiding in caves and dens so he was forced to work in a hole.
And an angel of the Lord appeared and told him “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
Gideon’s first response to the angel of the Lord was one of total honesty. He asked a question. “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?” And… OH HOW I can relate to Gideon.
Gideon continued to question God …. BUT it is important to understand he WAS TESTING the ANSWER.. NOT TESTING GOD!! God knew Gideon’s heart. Notice God never answers Gideon’s questions (same thing happened in Job!!)
God’s responded: Get yourself out of the hole and do something about it!
Gideon asked God… HOW can I do this?? HOW can I save Israel… my clan is the weakest, I am the least in my family??? Remember Gideon does not have the written Word or the Holy Spirit like we do to guide him or help him. We who have asked Christ to be our Lord and Savior, have the greatest guide of all… living IN us!!!
God responded: I WILL BE WITH YOU!!
Gideon made an offering before the Lord, KNOWS it is the LORD, and builds an altar.
God tells Gideon to tear down your father’s altar to Baal and the Asherah pole beside it and build a proper altar to the Lord your God. Gideon obeyed, people find out and want to kill him!!
We end Chapter 6 with Gideon asking God please not to be mad at him for making one more request … one more test with the fleece. God responded with a miracle for Gideon.
Chapter 7 – Gideon defeated the Midianites. HOWEVER…. God wanted the people to KNOW that the battles were not won by man but by GOD!!! He asked Gideon to decrease him military from 32,000 to 300!!!!
Gideon’s army showed up, blew their trumpets, smashed their jars, grabbed their torches, and at the appointed time .. shouted “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon.”
The Midianites ran, crying out as they fled!!!
THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S….IN MY LIFE…IN YOUR LIFE…IN GIDEON’S LIFE….
Sharing HIS love,