Gideon – Part 1: God’s Man In Hiding (A Bible Study in Judges 6:1-23)

If you told me a year ago that Donald Trump was going to be the next President of the United States of America, I wouldn’t, have believed you. I know this because many people did, in fact, tell me that and, no, I didn’t believe them (I honestly still can’t believe it). Although I easily could have told you a year ago that no matter who was going to be the next american president that they were going to be a huge and utter disappointment. It didn’t matter what political party they were affiliated with, or their gender, or their personal social views; the next president of this country was always destined to become a thorough,  absolute, and regrettable bummer. I knew it. You knew it. We all knew it. 

We all pretty much knew that this was going to happen, and we knew it for two reasons, one being that presidents are, just as we all are, also fallen men. The second reason is because they are chosen by fallen men. A government of the people, by the people and for the people sounds good in theory, but is fundamentally flawed in that it allows fallen people to serve their own fallen needs.

In the book of Judges, we see a very different system. One where God raises up people of His own choosing to uphold His own law and to rule by His own standards. The people are still fallen, and the ruler is still fallen, but God empowers both to work together for His glory. It’s a system of God, for God and by God. And God uses this system in Judges to illustrate to us that we are, when left to ourselves, utterly ruthless and depraved people, without hope; and that, even so, He will not forsake His elect, and that He will deliver us from all forms of bondage.

So just to quickly sum up what has happened up to this point in Judges; after Joshua has led the people into the land of Canaan, the tribes of Judah and Simeon go up and make war with the Canaanites and the Perizzites, defeating both, but they don’t utterly destroy them as they were commanded to, and they allow some to live so that they could make them slaves. And they did this even though God had warned them that the gods of their captives would ensnare them and cause them to turn away. But they allowed these people to dwell in the land anyway, and some of them took their daughters for wives, and then they fell into idolatry, serving the gods of the Canaanites.

God then allows the Israelites to be overcome by the surrounding tribes, and placed into captivity themselves. And after a while, that being years of being under the whip of these tribes, they would finally cry out to God, begging for mercy. And God, being rich in mercy to His people would send a leader, a Judge to rule over them and to deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, and uphold the commands of the Lord. At which point, they would then serve God, and as long as the judge was around, things would go pretty smooth. But once the judge would die, there was no royal or Levitical succession, and without another judge to take the previous ones place, the people would very quickly turn away again, and serve other gods.

And this happened over and over again. It had happened four times before the events in Judges 6 take place. The first Judge, Othniel, delivered the Israelites from the hands of the Mesopotamians. Then Ehud, came and delivered them from the Moabites. Followed shortly thereafter by Shamgar who saved Israel from the Philistines, and then Deborah the prophetess and Barak worked together in delivering the Israelites from the hands of the Canaanites.

So as you can see, Israel is just getting hit from every side here. And they aren’t getting hit because they follow the Lord, God. Their subjugation comes only after they begin, once again, to follow the gods of those subduing them. And at some point, you want to scream at these people or something, but it wouldn’t matter. If many years of severe bondage and oppression don’t do the trick, then nothing will. That is, except the grace of God. And in our passage, we see the Israelites when they were in some of the worst need, so much so that they were scattered and in hiding, and starving.

Judges 6:1

1 Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years.

So the wheel comes round again, and after being led by Deborah for forty years, and after she passes away, the people turn away from the Lord, and almost instantaneously turn to other gods. It’s almost as if someone keeps hitting a reset button. And unfortunately, the default state of the Israelites is the same as all the other people of the earth. It’s a state in which we want to turn away from God, and decide for ourselves what is right and wrong. And this occurs so often in the book of Judges that it’s almost funny, that is if it weren’t so maddening and so sad. And just a little bit frightening when we consider that we have that same default setting. And it’s such a wonderful truth that God uphold His people by His own power and strength, not our own. It brings to mind that great quote by John MacArthur (I’m not sure if it’s his originally, but I know it through him), and he said that, “If you could lose your salvation, you would”. Because that’s what we are, and that’s what we do. We mess up, and we ruin things. But God never fails. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37).

The next thing to note here is that the oppression of the Israelites took place only by the will of God. It says that, “the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years” (Judges 6:1b). This was something that God allowed to happen, and it’s something that God allowed in response to the evil being committed by Israel. “Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD,” “the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian.” The cause and effect aren’t hard to see. But the purpose makes all the difference. God isn’t judging Israel here. This isn’t God’s wrath being poured on the Israelites because of their sins. This is God working to draw His people out of their sin, and well see that later. God corrects those He loves. “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (). God simply will not allow His people to go on in sin without drawing them out. What do we keep seeing in our study of Colossians? Though we aren’t saved by our good works. God did not save us so that we could keep on committing evil works. Ephesians says that we are, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). And keep in mind, these aren’t people who are just falling into sin that they know to be contrary to God’s commands; Israel was worshiping other gods here. That means having a completely different worldview. It’s a different understanding of sin, it’s a completely different understanding about your relationship with God, or whoever you’re calling a god. And when you fall that far away, correction of this sort is not only necessary, but extremely gracious.

And the last this to note about this verse is that the Israelites were being overrun by these Midianites for seven years. Now that’s a long time, but it’s interesting that it’s the shortest span of time that we’ve seen so far. The Israelites were under the Mesopotamians for eight years before God raised up Othniel. Then God delivered Israel into the hands of the Moabites for eighteen years until He rose up Ehud. And then we’re told that God allowed the Canaanites to oppress Israel severely for twenty years until Deborah and Barak defeated them. So seven years may seem a little tame in comparison to these long stretches of burdensome occupation, but this was a little different. The Midianites weren’t interested is destroying and enslaving the Israelites. The Midianites were plunderers. They came to devour crops and to steal food and provisions to take with them. They didn’t occupy, they didn’t even really occupy their own lands. They were nomadic. They were always on the move looking for their next opportunity to pillage. And this was a very devastating thing for the Israelites, as we see in the next section.

Judges 6:2-6

2 The power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.
3 For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them.
4 So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey.
5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to devastate it.
6 So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD.

So this was one of the toughest things that Israel had to endure. Verse 2 says that, “The power of Midian prevailed against Israel” (Judges 6:2), and even caused them to retreat into the wilderness so as to hide out in caves and dens in the mountains. And doesn’t that sound a little familiar? Who else do we know that went to hide out in a cave when he was being hunted down by those who sought to destroy him? The King David, while fleeing from King Saul went into the caves of the mountains to escape pursuit. 1 Samuel 23:14 says that “David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph.” And David didn’t exactly have an easy time of it either. David wrote several Psalms while he was there in the wilderness, and he writes in Psalm 142:

Psalm 142:5-7

5 “I cried out to You, O LORD;
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
6 Give heed to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are too strong for me.
7 Bring my soul out of prison,
So that I may give thanks to Your name;
The righteous will surround me,
For You will deal bountifully with me.”

You can see the similarities there. Writing while in hiding, he says, “I am brought very low”, “they are too strong for me”, he describes his soul as being ‘in prison’. But what’s the difference? Well, The Israelites aren’t singing to the Lord at all. They’ve been worshiping the false gods of the Canaanites, and making sacrifices and offering prayers to gods who aren’t listening, because they don’t exist. David may be dwelling in the caves, but he says that ‘You [LORD] are my refuge”. The sons of Israel have nothing but the rocks to protect them. And that’s a very precarious position to find yourself in. We’re told in Revelation that people who haven’t put their trust in the Lord Jesus will one day ask for those same mountains to cover them rather than face the wrath of God that’s to come.

Then we see that it wasn’t just the Midianites that Israel was facing. Verse 3, “For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them” (Judges 6:3). The Midianites were conspiring with both the Amalekites, who were the highlanders, or those from the high country, as well as the sons of the east which would be the Arabians at the time. Facing off against just one rabble is difficult enough, but here, Israel is faced off against three. And it’s not even as if they can position themselves to fend off attacks from a particular direction. As we already saw, these were nomads, travelers, always on the move. You never knew what day they might attack, or how many, or from what direction.

Also, take the next few verses into consideration. “For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them. So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to devastate it. So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD” (Judges 6:3-6). “It was when Israel had sown,” ‘they would destroy the produce of the earth,’ “and they came into the land to devastate it”. These attacks were determined by the harvest. So while they may not have been the relentless attacks associated with a siege or an invasion, they were just as devastating, if not more so. The harvest was everything to the Israelites. They grew their food a year at a time. They grew wheat and corn and grapes, and whatever they could cultivate from the harvest was what they had to last them all year. If they had extra, they could sell or trade, but if they had less then they had to ration or simply go without. The only commodity that would last past the harvest would be the livestock. Bulls, sheep goats and birds could be milked for drink, or cooked for food, but these marauders left nothing behind, and they “devastated the land”. They devastated the land to such a degree that it became useless to Israel. They ended up fleeing to the mountains and caves. And this was happening yearly. Seven to be exact. It took seven years of this overwhelming devastation before the Israelites finally saw their error in turning to other gods, and then, at last, turned back to the Lord, and cried out to Him. And to God’s glory, He was listening.

Judges 6:7-10

7 Now it came about when the sons of Israel cried to the LORD on account of Midian,
8 that the LORD sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery.
9 ‘I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land,
10 and I said to you, “I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me.”’”

So here we see God’s response to the cries of Israel. And He responds, first, by sending a prophet; and this prophet goes unnamed as he’s only mentioned here in Judges 6, and he may not say a whole lot, but there really is a whole lot in what he says. And he says a great deal about God. He says who God is, he says what God has done, he says what God has given, and he says what God has commanded. Who God is; he begins, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel”, God is the God of Israel. Yes, He’s the God and Creator of any and all things, but since the very beginning of creation, God has always sought to establish a unique relationship with His people. A relationship that does not exist between Him and the world. God has established the covenants and their signs, the Levitical priesthood and its entire system of worship. The sacrificial system, dietary restrictions, even the feasts they would celebrate; these were all meant to set the children of Israel apart from the world so as to claim them as God’s own chosen people. And that’s the very first thing that God wants to remind them of.

Second, what God has done; “It was I who brought you up from Egypt and brought you out from the house of slavery. I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors,” The Israelites were a people that were enslaved by the Egyptians for 400 years. They were beaten, subjected to some of the heaviest labor you could imagine, and in some of the worst conditions you could imagine. They were oppressed, and demoralized and even had their youngest children murdered for the sake of something as futile as population control. People don’t usually thrive under those conditions, they diminish. But God raised them up, He set them free from the Egyptians and then crushed their armies; He turned slaves into warriors, and into a people that would eventually establish their own kingdom. And God was active in all of this. He performed miracles, and sent plagues, and angels to accomplish these things.

The Canaanites could never say that. God even says that he took them out of their own land. That’s what God gave them. “[I] dispossessed them before you and gave you their land.” God had allowed these tribes to settle and dwell in this land for centuries before the Israelites were led into Canaan. And just evicts them. He empowers Israel and again performs great works to uproot the inhabitants and to utterly drive them out. But they didn’t drive them out. Not completely. They thought that it would be wise to keep some around, so that they could put them to work, and ease their burden for once. And in doing so, they defied the command that God have given them. “I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But you have not obeyed Me.” Instead, Israel bowed their knees to these gods, and took foreign wives for themselves to draw them even further from the Lord.

But this message from the prophet must have had some impact on the people, because even though we aren’t told specifically that the people repented of their sin, in the next verse we see God raising up yet another judge to deliver the people from oppression.

Judges 6:11

11 Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.

Now there’s two things that we should discuss from this verse. First, some of you, depending on which bible translation you’ve chosen, may notice that the ‘a’ in ‘angel’ is capitalized, and you can all see the definite article ‘the’ before it. As I haven’t been able to study this subject enough to teach on it properly, I’m reluctant to say much of anything about it; but that capital is there for a reason, and at the very least I can tell you that that’s because there is some debate as to whether or not this angel may or may not be the preincarnate manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are a number of reasons for that, and I look forward studying more into that and hopefully teaching on it in the future, but for now, just know that that’s why it’s presented that way.

The other thing to look at here is to ask why the scripture points out that Gideon is beating out the wheat in the wine press. The reason is because it says an awful lot about how paranoid the Israelites had become. Beating out the wheat or ‘threshing,’ as it was called, was not a one person job. Typically, the people would gather to thresh wheat in groups, and they wouldn’t even do the threshing. What they would do is scatter the wheat over a large flat surface, and then have oxen walk over the wheat, allowing their hoofs to crush and separate the husk from the seed. Then they would take the wheat and toss it into the air so that the wind would catch it and blow away all of the light husk, or chaff away, leaving only the seed to fall back onto the ground. And from there, they would gather the seed, and then process it, grinding it into flour so that they could make their bread. So, this usually took place at what they called the ‘threshing floor’, which was usually located up high on the hill; somewhere that you would have the most wind, making the job very manageable. But as you might imagine, someplace up high isn’t exactly a great place to lay low; especially when the people that you’re trying to avoid are keeping their eyes on you to see when your fields are ripe for pillaging. The wine press was much safer. It had hills all around, and vineyards which made the work more covert, but beating out the wheat with a stick is a lot of work, and then separating the chaff and then gathering the two separately must have been painstaking. But it was the most secure way to do the work. Otherwise, they would just be inviting the Midianites and their companions to come and devastate their lands once again.

But this is our introduction to Gideon, and in the next few verses we see where God calls upon Gideon to rise up and deliver Israel from the oppression of the Midianites.

Judges 6:12-16

12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.”
13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 The LORD looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”
15 He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.”
16 But the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.”

So here we see the angel of the LORD appear to Gideon, and as he addresses him , we see this dialogue sort of intensify as it slowly dawns on Gideon who he’s talking to, because as we begin, the language would seem to indicate that initially, Gideon was regarding this angel as any mere traveler; but the angel begins by saying, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.” But what’s interesting here, for a number of reasons, is Gideon’s response; “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” And through this response, I think that we’re getting some sense as to why this man was chosen to be judge over God’s people. First, despite all the idolatry that Israel was engaged in, as well as all the idolatry that Gideon’s own family was engaged in; Gideon seems to be a man who was following after God. Look how he completely acknowledges God sovereign work in bringing the Midianites upon them. He doesn’t appeal to the acting work of other gods. He doesn’t ask this individual why he’s bring up the name of Jehovah God. No, he says that God, in fact, is behind all of what’s happening. Gideon feels as though God has abandoned them, and he doesn’t know yet that God brought them into the hands of the Midianites for the very purpose of releasing them from the greater bondage that they were exposing themselves to by following after other gods. And it’s worth noting here that Gideon also doesn’t seem to be aware of the words of the prophet who came and spoke to the people back in verses 8-10; because the prophet pretty much explains all this.

Also, how does Gideon claim to know the Lord? From his fathers. Again in verse 13, “And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, “Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?”.” Everything that the prophet mentioned about Egypt, and being delivered by the hand of God; Gideon knows all about it. The people know all about it. The difference being that the people just haven’t believed it. But Gideon does. Gideon hasn’t said that the miracles aren’t real, he just believes that God has now decided to shift His support elsewhere, and taken His miracles with Him.

Yet, God reassures Gideon with His next address, “The LORD looked at him and said, ”Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”.” First quick note to take is that it doesn’t say angel here but says that, “The LORD looked at him and said”, which is one of the arguments made by those who believe that this may be an early manifestation of Jesus Christ. But moving on, God tells Gideon that he himself is the means by which God will once again come and deliver His people from its oppressors. God says, ‘You’, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel.” “This your strength” probably referring to the way God first addressed him as “O valiant warrior”. Not that Gideon was a valiant warrior, but by addressing him in such a way, God was declaring that He would empower Gideon to become a valiant warrior in order to deliver Israel.

But Gideon, still being caught up in his own strength and power responds in the next verse, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” Now, this is a peculiar thing to read considering that later on in verse 27 of this chapter it says that Gideon took ten of his own servants to do as the Lord had commanded him. So how can someone with at least ten of his own servants claim to one of the lowest families in the land. Well, that isn’t really explained to us; unless the possibility that Gideon was a follower of the God of Israel may have weakened his status in a city where all the men there were serving false idols. But the important thing is that Gideon certainly didn’t think that he was worthy of being called to such a high position of responsibility. He saw himself as weak, and lowly, and we’ll see in a bit that he was dealing with a lot of fear as well.

Still, when God calls someone to a task to complete, He gives them all of the resources they’ll needs to complete it. And He assures Gideon of that in verse 16, “But the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” That is to say not that ‘you’ll defeat all of Midian on your own’, but instead, ‘that you’ll defeat all of Midian as easily as you would one man’. And more importantly, God says, for the second time, “I will be with you”. What more encouragement could you possibly ask for. The Lord, the God of Israel, the one who indeed delivered His people out of Egypt now says that He’s sending you into battle and that He’ll be with you as you go, and your enemies will be no match for you. And that seems to do the trick and convince Gideon that he is actually receiving the word of God here, so he tries to confirm just that in the last section.

Judges 6:17-23

17 So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me.
18 “Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” And He said, “I will remain until you return.”
19 Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them.
20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.
21 Then the angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight.
22 When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.”
23 The LORD said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”

So just a few things to cover quickly here. First, Gideon, although still unsure of who exactly he’s been speaking with, now seems convinced that at least this person was sent by God. And he wishes to show proper respect to this stranger, whoever he is, and so he presents this offering to him. However, there’s no reason to suspect that this was any kind of official worship offering. The word used here, which is typically used to refer to a “meat offering” can also be used to indicate that of a common gift. Also, since he wasn’t a priest, it wouldn’t have been proper for Gideon to make any kind of offering. And also, there was no alter to make an offering, and the food that he prepares wouldn’t have been consistent with any kind of offering anyway.

But he prepares this goat and these loaves of bread for this stranger, and let’s not forget how scarce food is right now and how much time Gideon probably spent pounding out the wheat just to make those loaves alone. But he presents them to this angel who doesn’t eat them, but touches the tip of his staff to it and consumes the whole thing, effectively turning it into an offering to God. It reminds me of when Abraham was taking his son Isaac up to sacrifice him to God, and Isaac asks his father, “[Father], where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”, and Abraham replies, “God will provide for Himself the lamb”. God is truly all powerful, to take the weak things that we have to offer, and He perfects them. He perfects us. In fact, He tells Paul that His strength is made perfect in our weakness, so that might be glorified.

And just like that, the angel disappears. And in that moment, the veil is removed, and Gideon finally realizes that in one way or another, he was in the presence of holiness. And he is absolutely terrified. He says, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” And knowing the story of the Exodus as we know he does, Gideon recalls that which God told Moses when He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” And so, knowing who he is, and where his corrupted sinful nature leaves him before God, he gets frightened. But then the Lord responds to him saying, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.”

God is a great Comforter. Because through His perfection, He is able to uphold all that He says and commands. He is faithful and has compassion for His people, and still fulfills His law and carries out those things which are good and just. Only God could do such things. There’s a Psalm that was written which talks about God delivering His people all the way back from when they dwelled in Egypt, and all the way through the time of the judges.

Psalm 106:34-48

34 They did not destroy the peoples,
As the LORD commanded them,
35 But they mingled with the nations
And learned their practices,
36 And served their idols,
Which became a snare to them.
37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons,
38 And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and their daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with the blood.
39 Thus they became unclean in their practices,
And played the harlot in their deeds.

40 Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against His people
And He abhorred His inheritance.
41 Then He gave them into the hand of the nations,
And those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies also oppressed them,
And they were subdued under their power.
43 Many times He would deliver them;
They, however, were rebellious in their counsel,
And so sank down in their iniquity.

44 Nevertheless He looked upon their distress
When He heard their cry;
45 And He remembered His covenant for their sake,
And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.
46 He also made them objects of compassion
In the presence of all their captors.

47 Save us, O LORD our God,
And gather us from among the nations,
To give thanks to Your holy name
And glory in Your praise.
48 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
And let all the people say, “Amen.”
Praise the LORD!

God delivered the people of Israel by raising up Gideon. One who didn’t think much of himself, one who was scared, and one who even (as we will see in later lessons) had some very serious flaws. But God raised him up. This man who asked the angel, “how shall I deliver Israel?”, if you skip ahead a little you’ll see in chapter 7 that this man had 32,000 men willing to fight alongside him. And in the book of Hebrews, although his story isn’t told in detail, Gideon is listed alongside the heroes of the faith. Hebrews 11 (32-34, 39-40) says, “For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight… And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.

As great as the story of Gideon is, it’s just a shadow of the even greater One whom God gave to us as a Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ. And He will not only deliver us from all our enemies, and from all forms of bondage, but He will also bring us into an everlasting peace, as we join in union with Him; a peace that will sustain us for eternity.

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