A series in Judges: Gideon

A series in Judges: Gideon

In Judges 6, the Israelites again turn from the Lord and are captured by the Midianites, who invade their country, ruin their crops and force them out of their homes. When the Israelites cry out to the Lord, he sends an unlikely, yet relatable deliverer to judge and rule over them.

Gideon is hiding from the Midianites in a winepress while threshing wheat and questioning God’s sovereignty, when the angel of the Lord joins him and declares his presence. 

Verse 13 recounts the encounter: 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 responds by commanding Gideon to go into the war to strike down the entire Midianite army. Gideon, who was of the least clan of the Israelites and the weakest of his own family, is dumbfounded by this request. 

Gideon begins to create excuses to avoid obeying God’s calling on his life. God gently reminds him that he will have the power of the Lord on his side, so there is nothing to fear. 

In a moment of doubt, Gideon asks for a sign to prove that God is truly speaking to him. The Lord graciously provides a sign by incinerating a burnt offering, but even after that miraculous display Gideon doubts again. 

After gathering men to fight against the Midianites, Gideon asks the Lord for another sign. He will lay a fleece outside, and the next morning if the fleece is covered in dew, but the floor is dry, then Gideon will know that the Lord will grant them victory in battle. Sure enough, when Gideon arose the next morning, the Lord had fulfilled his request. 

Just in case that wasn’t enough proof, Gideon asks for yet another sign. This time, Gideon asks for dew to be present on the ground, but the fleece to be dry. 

Judges 3:40 says, “That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.” 

Sure, it would have been easier for God to choose a confident and trusting leader for the people of Israel, but God’s power is displayed in an even greater way when he uses feeble and hesitant characters. 

The story of Gideon shows us that God does not choose people based on earthly status or wealth. Gideon was the weakest member of the weakest clan in Israel, and yet God used Gideon to do mighty things in his name. 

His story also reminds us that even in our doubt and unbelief, the Lord is patient to reassure us and remind us of his character. While testing God is never the solution, he understands that we are an unbelieving people, and he provides signs all throughout the Bible that point us to his truth.

Author

  • Audrey Johnson

    Audrey is a sophomore majoring in elementary education. She is the religion section editor and a co-host of Tower Radio's podcast 'our high tops, His steps'.

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