Author Topic: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour  (Read 4189 times)

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Offline Insight

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Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« on: Sun Jul 31, 2011 - 23:14:49 »
                                                                    Gideon

Gideon was the greatest of all the judges over Israel, confirmed in Heb 11:32.   He demonstrated great faith and confidence in his God and became a mighty man of velour as the Angel stated in (Judges 6:12).  The record goes to great lengths to reveal Gideon’s godly character, which was later seen in his stand against idolatry and was understood by all as the one who destroyed the idol in Judges 6:29.   Though he did do foolishly which led others astray in Judges 8:27.  Gideon’s reputation as a man of God in the mind of the people is apparent, although being faithful; it appears as a young man Gideon lacked confidence, both in himself and his family (Jdg 6:11, 15, 27, 39; 7:10).  (This needs further exploring - - clearly Israel’s circumstances were not favourable to Gideon’s family).  

We are told he was the very least in his father’s house and they were very poor.  (How often does God take the broken hearted and exalt them on His terms?  Very few Christians today are poor in spirit!)  How often has God taken something which is broken and made it strong and mighty?  

We see Gideon when speaking with the Angel in Judges 6:13 showed strong sensitiveness to their slavery under the Mediantites.  As a child Gideon listened to all the stories of deliverance which God had commanded His children to teach to all their generations, however growing into a man he clearly felt God had abandoned them, handing them over to the Midianites because of sin.  He understood Israel’s predicament was a result of their sin before God but what exactly was their sin (Judges 6:1)? Had they once again departed from the true worship, and as a result, they suffered?  

(What would God say about worship today in Christianity around the world 2000 years on from His Son’s ascension? And what will Jesus find upon his return – rock music, false teachings, poor standard of dress etc etc.)

Sinning always brings suffering.  And Gideon’s family had taken part in Israel’s sin and now he longed for deliverance from their enemy.

Did Israel become relaxed (casual & liberal) in a false sense of security with nothing to fear? For the last of the Canaanites (represents sin) had been subdued in the defeat of Sisera.  It appears they grew careless of God, and their troubles came from a different location but a neighbour none the same.  
 
We know the Midianites dwelt east of the Jordan.  They had joined with Moab in hiring Balaam against Israel, and Moses had waged war against them, destroying their kings and subduing the people in Num. 31:8. Now, having grown strong again, they sought opportunity to avenge what they then suffered. They decided to invade the land of Israel.  Can we see the gorgeously robed Arabs of lordly and pagan appearance swarming over the border into Israel?  These surrounding nations were ruthless in suppressing the people, holding them in a total control and in fear and terror oi(Judges 6:2-5; 8:24-26).  The circumstances for Gideon and his family must have been difficult as these two kings ruled over Israel. Their names  Zebah and Zalmunna, together with two inferior princes named Oreb and Zeeb, whose names signify The Raven and The Wolf."

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Prophecy: The destruction of the Midianites by Gideon later is used by the prophets as an example of Christ's coming victory at Armageddon.  In addition to other places, Gideon's victory is referred to in Isaiah 9:4; 10:26 and Hosea 1:11.  Later day application of Gideon fulfilled in the type of Christ will help us to appreciate this section of Scripture and broaden our awareness of Armageddon

Zebah means sacrificial slaughter, Zalmunna means Defence has been denied, it’s amazing how God speaks to us and His people through names!  These two kings were proclaiming that Israel would be given to slaughter like a sacrifice, because they had no defence (God was not with them in their present state)!  Although one would think Israel would put up a fight. If we read the record it seems as though there was a battle fought at Mt. Tabor, where Barak had his victory but on this occasion Midian prevailed and Israel was defeated (Judges 8:18; 6:2).

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Israel has been warned not to put her strength in her armies even today she is very powerful in the eyes of her neighbours, but this will be stripped away when her lovers abandon her.

Now, thousands of Midianites entered the land of Israel.  They were seen riding on their camels, from way up in the north to down south at Gaza (Judges 6:5). Everywhere they went they brutally ill-treated the Israelites. They burnt down their cities, ransacked houses for spoil, murdered people, and destroyed crops and so on. So terrible were the conditions in the towns and cities that the People fled from them to the dens and caves in the mountains to hide from their oppressors. (Judges 6:2-5).

Musings:

If Gideon’s tribe was the strongest and his family the poorest, how was life for Gideon?  Clearly great idolatry in the land - - research the type of idols and how do these idol compare to today?i

What does Christian idolatry look like today?  Fashion, Movies, Music, Devices in our Homes.

The state of Christianity will be in a defeated state upon his return Luke 18:8 - how did Gideon become a might man of valour and what are the lessons for Christians today?

Who will be the enemies of the Faith in the last days? Who are modern day Midianites, Canaanites etc. And has their false practices already infiltrated the true Gospel after 2000 years of mingling with the nations.

Research Gideon’s actions to see how God cleansed Israel from her enemies.
« Last Edit: Mon Aug 01, 2011 - 06:07:23 by skmorrison6 »

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Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« on: Sun Jul 31, 2011 - 23:14:49 »

Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #1 on: Mon Aug 01, 2011 - 18:34:10 »
Why in our misery do we turn to God? Why do we see the Invisible when the reality of the physical overwhelms us?  Israel surrounded by oppression and under the dominion of the Midianites, in misery remembers the One who they forgot.  He has always been Yahweh, the God, Protector and Saviour of Israel.  And though many today, including the JW’s believe the Father has put His children (Israel) away, little do they know He is still working with Israel to perform His good pleasure. Rom 11:1,2,3...

Finally, when their suffering had finished its work Heb 2:10, 'Israel cried unto God for help (Judges 6:6). Only then did He send Israel a prophet who would remind them all of the mighty acts of God in the past, and show them the cause of their present sufferings (Judg 6:7,8,9,10).

God chose the weakest of men, in the poorest of families to represent Him in battle.  So Gideon was selected among the notable tribe of Manasseh, as a deliverer. There was one called Joash who lived at Ophrah. He must have suffered terribly from the oppression of the Midianites as out of all his sons, except one, all had been slain at the battle of Tabor (Judges 8:18), so that his family was now looked upon as 'the meanest in Manasseh' (Judges 6:15). The cause of this disaster was not hard to find. The house of Joash had become a centre of idolatry (Judges 6:27).

Only one in his family stood out against this wicked Idolatry!

Gideon from the city of Ophrah of the tribe of Manasseh (who was the son of Joseph).



And notice the size of Manasseh covering both sides of the Jordan (note: the boarders of Gad & Manassah are often debated however this map is for illustration purpose only)


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Midianite Territory



« Last Edit: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 08:04:51 by skmorrison6 »

Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #2 on: Mon Aug 01, 2011 - 20:03:55 »
Sadly dear readers it was his remaining son, Gideon.

"One day, as Gideon was threshing wheat secretly to hide it from the Midianites, an angel suddenly appeared unto him. 'Yahweh is with thee, thou mighty man of valour', declared the angel."

Working in secret is the trait of a true servant of the Lord Matt 6:4. Gideon was the only one left of his number working secretly in the fields threshing wheat when an Angel appeared to him.  It appears from the language that Gideon could not understand the meaning of his appearing. 'If He be with us', he replied, 'why is Israel so downtrodden?

Gideons speaks out in frustration possessing great belief and faith and a knowledge of God’s Power to perform wonders he challenges the representative of God “Why does He not perform a miracle and save us?
« Last Edit: Mon Aug 01, 2011 - 20:22:00 by skmorrison6 »

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #2 on: Mon Aug 01, 2011 - 20:03:55 »

Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #3 on: Mon Aug 01, 2011 - 23:46:51 »
However, Gideon was clearly not satisfied with the response from the Angel.  Although he has realised that the angel was a messenger of heaven, he desired a sign to prove that God would really be with him.  

So the angel gave him a sign.

Gideon had prepared a meal and set it out upon a rock, and the angel touched it with his staff. Immediately, before Gideon’s surprised gaze, fire came out of the rock and consumed the flesh and bread as a burnt offering. Gideon in amazement, turned around to the angel, he found that he had vanished out of his sight.  Judges 6:17-21

After the sign was presented, Gideon’s astonishment turned into fear.  ::scared:: Gideon knew the wickedness of Israel and his own father's house. Was he now afraid that in the presence of the angel he might destroy him?  God understanding how fragile we are comforted Gideon and instructed him what he should do.

We know from the record that not far from Ophrah was a large altar built to Baal.  Now God would not deliver Israel “until
« Last Edit: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 06:40:25 by skmorrison6 »

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #3 on: Mon Aug 01, 2011 - 23:46:51 »

Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #4 on: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 06:00:01 »
Because only in the true worship of God can there be peace!


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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
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Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #5 on: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 06:30:01 »
Its rather simple.  Only man can frustrate the will of God through sin! You see if the people truly sought God, He would give them peace from their enemies.  This has been His promise from Israel’s beginning. If they were like Abraham, their father who look afar off, they too would have built unhewn alters like their father Abraham and not idols of wood.

These unhewn alters represent the man who is made without hands pointing forward to Jesus Christ. Dan 2:45; Mark 14:58.   The Apostle Paul styles the Lord Jesus Christ as our altar in Heb. 13:10.  And it is through him, we can attain peace of mind if we worship the Father as he did in truth (John 14:27).

Only in Jesus Christ will peace finally come to this world at his second coming, when the world "learns righteousness" (Isa. 32:17).   He will then be known throughout the world as 'the Prince of Peace' Isa. 9:6

Having built the altar, Gideon then offered the second bullock, as a sacrifice.  Gideon took one bullock to do the work and another bullock to sacrifice, which shows he put considerable thought into his task.  Deut 15:19 ???

Gideon chopped down the wooden goddess the people had made with their own hands (Isa 2:8) and used it as fire-wood on the altar.  ::lookaround::

He and his men must have laboured most of the night to make atonement for his people, and then returned home to await the events of the next day.

I cannot help to imagine their expressions as the men of Ophrah awoke the next morning! Their Baal altar smashed all over the ground, and in its place a rocky alter of unhewn stones. Can you see the sacrificial bullock smouldering on the ashes of the image of their goddess?  It appears they knew who was responsible for this! Gideon was well known for his hard opposition to their pagan ways and now they wanted to punish him.  

What would these vile men imagine for Gideon's end?  ::bracingmyself::

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #5 on: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 06:30:01 »

Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #6 on: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 18:25:15 »
Once they knew it was Gideon they headed for the house of Joash with anger in their hearts, and demanded: 'Bring out your son that he may die'. But Joash was not prepared give up his son. He had no real respect for Baal, and Gideon was his last remaining son. You can only imagine the tension as the father considered his position very carefully.  Holding onto his last son he reasoned with the people that if Baal was really a god, he ought to be able to look after himself. Not only so, but those who wanted to kill Gideon should rather be punished, because their actions implied Baal had no power to defend himself! (Judges 6:31).    Strangely the crowd thought this was reasonable.  So they placed their belief in Baal by pleading for him to act, and when he did not (for how could he!  See Psa 115:4,5,6,7,8, they acknowledged that it was vain and foolish to worship so helpless a god!

Gideon’s Names:

Gideon's name means Great Warrior, he was now called Jerubbaal, which means Contender with Baal. Gideon had revealed himself to be a great warrior through faith and now God’s next work would have him become a great warrior against the enemies of Israel. Interestingly Gidoen was given a third and final name: Jerubbesheth, which means Contender or Against Confusion and Shame' (2 Sam 11:21).

Upon reading the record of his life and work we find he certainly fulfilled every part of these names by overthrowing idolatry and restoring the true worship of Yahweh in the land.  

However, did the Midianites hear about this man Gideon?
« Last Edit: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 18:38:14 by skmorrison6 »

Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #7 on: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 20:40:05 »
You will recall Gideon was threshing in secret which implies the Midianites where either in the area or on guard.  Whatever the case it appears the work of Gideon did not go unnoticed!  The Midianites heard of his antics and fearing Israel would revolt they gathered a huge army together in the valley of Jezreel.    


Courtesy of Teachallnations

Did they have cause to be afraid?   ::nodding::

The spirit of God had come upon Gideon filling him with courage and stirring in him a will to act.  Gideon now saw the time was ripe to attack the enemy. He sounded the trumpet of war, inviting people to assemble together to fight against the Midianites, but only his own family answered the call.  Not happy with this outcome he sent messengers throughout his own tribe, but only few responded. Finally, he sent to the tribes close at hand, and gained a few more supporters.

You might like to give some thought to those few men who responded to the call of Gideon.  Clearly being outnumbered and knowing their fate they still prepare for war. However what of those who had (Midianites) sin reigning over them? The Masses of Christians who are weak and beggarly? They were so weakened by sin they could not move!  What a sluggish response which clearly discouraged Gideon.

So he asked himself “Am I taking the proper steps to resist the Midianites?
« Last Edit: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 22:09:59 by skmorrison6 »

Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #8 on: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 22:14:54 »
Gideon chose to put out a fleece of wool on the ground and requested if he was right to go out against the Midianites and conformed with God’s Will, that the next morning it would be wet with dew, and the ground around it remained dry.

The sign was given.

The next morning as he requested, he was able to wring the dew out of the fleece, although the ground round about it was completely dry. The following morning the sign was reversed. The fleece remained dry whilst the ground was wet with heavy dew. Gideon knew that God was with him.  

The question dear Christian is this..."what is the meaning of the sign?  ::headscratch::
« Last Edit: Wed Aug 03, 2011 - 00:09:33 by skmorrison6 »

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #8 on: Tue Aug 02, 2011 - 22:14:54 »

Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #9 on: Wed Aug 03, 2011 - 00:35:26 »
The answer is we are not told!   ::shrug::

But let’s see if we can figure this out with God’s Word in hand?

We all know that sheep represent Israel. I know you’re saying “that’s fairly obvious

Offline Insight

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Re: Gideon - A Mighty Man of Valour
« Reply #10 on: Wed Aug 03, 2011 - 17:46:01 »
This concludes Judges Chapter 6.

Feel obliged to add any commentary/feedback as you wish...happy pickings!

Judges 7 Below

http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/the-300-heroes-of-gideon's-army/
« Last Edit: Sat Aug 06, 2011 - 06:07:19 by skmorrison6 »