Read 78.) Judges 6:8 thru 8:3. We come to the story of Gideon. The first 10 verses of chapter 6 set the stage for all the rest of the account. But, note Who enters the scene here. This is at least a 15th appearance of our Mystery Person. It is the Angel of the Lord. Pay close attention to everything about Him, especially the sarcasm He employs with His greeting, in verse 12! Our God has a sense of humor! In verses 11 thru 24, this fellow, Gideon, has a life-changing experience with the Lord. By means of it, he is changed from a fearful man who threshes his wheat in a winepress, so as to not be seen; into a bold and fearless, faithful man of the Lord, who does all God’s bidding! He even finds mention in Hebrews chapter 11, God’s faithful “Hall of Fame”! Even through this, we see he had his faith struggles, as in verses 17, 27, 36 thru 40, and 7:10+11. We, too, all need to have a personal experience with the Lord, whereby we are changed. It is later called the New Birth, a spiritual rebirth from above. And, like Gideon, we will all have our faith struggles afterward, but we may seek assurances from Him, in order to go forward in faith.
Chapter 7, thru 8:3. This is nothing less than an account of the miraculous that happened. It was the Angel of the Lord Who was responsible for all that took place next, as 7:22 intimates. Pay careful attention to two things here. The first is that Gideon, and the 300 who went with him, carried torches under jars, and trumpets. They must have left their weapons in their scabbards by their sides, as their hands were both full! Second, it expressly says that each man held his position. They surrounded the Midianite camp, broke their jars so as to reveal their torches’ light, and blew their trumpets; all the while standing their ground and not moving! There was nothing conventional about this particular battle. They took no lives themselves, only later, as they called out the fighting men of Ephraim, did Israel take any Midianite soldiers’ lives. These Ephraimites also took the Midianite leaders, and slew them. But, please note the sad account this story closes here with. After such a great victory was won, these factions of Israel… Gideon being of Mannasseh, had sent for Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali to come to him before the battle, in 6:35 and 7:23. It was only afterward, with 7:24, did Gideon send for the Ephraimites. The Ephraimites took offense at Gideon for this, and illustrates the nature of Israel’s unfaithfulness to the Lord, in that they were not a solidly united people, in the very manner described in my last post. When God’s people are not united, due to a lack of faithfulness unto the Lord, they will turn on each other, and bicker, fight and complain. Recognize it when you see it, and don’t let this happen to you! Seek out an assembly of God’s people, and become one with them; seeking to establish and maintain a tight unity among all! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell