Heroes of the Faith –

Gideon, Judges 6 - 7

Comments on Judges 3, Ehud
Comments on Judges 4 - 5, Deborah

Judges 6:1-24, Gideon is Called.
Judges 6:25-40, Gideon Makes Sure.
Judges 7:1-15, Gideon Has Too Many Soldiers.
Judges 7:16 – 8:3, Gideon Uses Psychological Warfare

Comments on Judges 10 - 11, Jephthah
Comments on Judges 13 - 16, Samson

More Heroes of the Faith

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Judges 6:1-24, Gideon is Called. (2/8/2010)

What would you say if an angel came to you and said that you were about to do great things for God?  My response would probably be, "Oh, right.  Tell me another one."  That is exactly Gideon's response.  I especially like the fact that he asks for a sign, and when he gets the sign, his reaction is to moan in fear.  Personally, I always pray that God will not give me a sign in the first place, because I'm confident that I wouldn't believe it, and then I'd really be in trouble.  So I feel very close to Gideon; he is my favorite judge.

Judges 6:25-40, Gideon Makes Sure. (2/9/2010)

Two parts of our passage are especially interesting.  First, notice that the Jews were not monotheistic during the time of the judges.  It's one thing to acknowledge that other people have other gods, however, and another thing entirely to worship those gods.  The Jews were actually worshipping other gods; that's why they kept getting into trouble. 
Second, Gideon is not fearless - he's afraid of the reaction of his family and the other people in his town.  He's not even confident - he asked for a sign from the angel, and got it, and now he asks for another sign.  Getting that one, too, he asks for yet another sign, just to be absolutely sure.  What Gideon is, is courageous, which means doing what you have to do even when you are afraid and lack confidence. 

Judges 7:1-15, Gideon Has Too Many Soldiers. (2/10/2010)

Has it ever occurred to any of us that we might have too many resources to serve God?  Too much money?  Too big a building?  Too many Bibles?  My missionary friends report truly amazing events in the Church in third-world countries, where they have no money and no buildings, and a single Bible is a community treasure.  Sometimes I think the Church in America could do with a little persecution and impoverishment to make us appreciate what God has given us and think more clearly about what we could be doing with it.
Gideon had too many resources.  When he rallied the Israelites to join him in throwing off the Midianites, 32,000 men volunteered.  God was concerned that if this tremendous force was successful, they would assume that they had won the battle for their freedom.  God was no doubt justified in this concern.  When we do some good work for the Kingdom, we usually think, "Wow! Are we great, or what?"  Certainly we should be doing all we can for the Kingdom, but at least once a year, let's try to think, "Wow!  God is letting us help him!"
Anyway, God told Gideon to send all but 300 of the men home, so that it would be clear that this particular victory was of God, not of man.

Judges 7:16 – 8:3, Gideon Uses Psychological Warfare. (2/11/2010)

Gideon may have been skeptical and fearful, but he was shrewd.  He made the most of what he had.  He had 300 men, but enough torches and trumpets for 32,000 soldiers, so he gave a trumpet and torch to every man.  When it was time for the assault in the dead of the night, every man blew his trumpet and waved his torch.  The Midianites were convinced that they faced a much larger force and were thrown into a panic.
Later, Gideon also shows his political shrewdness.  It's easy to say, after the battle, "We wanted to fight, too!"  Gideon didn't argue.  He just said, "What you did was so important that it didn't even matter that you didn't fight."
Gideon's story shows that you don't have to be fearless or argumentative to be a hero for God.

More Heroes of the Faith

Introduction: The Heroic Faith of Our Ancestors

Old Testament Heroes
Abraham and Sarah
Caleb & Joshua
Esther and Mordecai
Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego
King Josiah of Judah
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

New Testament Heroes
Peter & John
The Woman with a Hemorrhage
The Canaanite Woman

Preaching in Difficult Circumstances
Courage to Challenge the Status Quo

Copyright 2010, 2011 by Regina L. Hunter.  All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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