Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday - Judges 6 - Gideon

I don't like the story of Gideon (also known as Jerubbaal). Oh yes, his biography has its high points and glory moments, but in the end his story has a very sad conclusion. Judges 9:5 tells us about the violent death of Gideon's 70 sons... all but 1 of them were killed by their own half-brother, Abimelech. And, there is more that can be examined concerning the painfully sad legacy of this great judge. But, we've got 3 more chapters remaining to consider that stuff, right now let's just meet him and discover his unique place in the halls of the faithful (Hebrews 11:32).

Most commonly this man's life is remembered because of his initial victory. Gideon's 300 men and their strange strategy against the Midianites is one of the most commonly rehearsed stories in Sunday Schools and Bible Schools. Yet there is much more to his life. In fact there are 3 or 4 other remarkably teachable events that we can examine. Today, let's specifically focus on the calling and first signs that God gave to Gideon.
After 40 long years of peace under Deborah, the people went astray yet again.  This time they suffered for 7 years. Some of their misery must have seemed so senseless and cruel to them. The Midianites and Amalekites not only oppressed them militarily, but they destroyed the agricultural economy of the nation.

This time, when Israel cried out to God for mercy, God preceded the calling of a delivering judge with the sending of a message-bearing prophet. The people were soundly rebuked for their apostasy.  Yet, God in His immeasurable patience did rear up a champion to assist and rescue the people.  That man was Gideon.

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