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."
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).
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).
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.