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.