The account of Gideon’s life is in the book of Judges and begins with the devastation of the Israelites by the Midianites, as a result of disobedience to God. For seven years, they faced invasions from Midianites, Amalekites and Orientals who ruined their crops and destroyed their flocks.
Although they were unfaithful to God, they cried out to the Lord for His help without realizing why this was happening to them, and then God sent the prophet Gideon to remind them who the one God was, who cared for them in the past and yet they abandoned quickly (Judges 6: 8-10).
The summons of gideon
God hears the people’s cry and graciously intervenes by sending an angel to Gideon to call him to service. Gideon, whose name means “lumberjack”, was the son of Joás and belonged to the least important clan of his tribe, but by the greeting of the angel – who called him “brave man” – we can assume that Gideon had already proven himself to be a powerful warrior (Judges 6:12).
Although Gideon was a servant of God, he needed to be sure that it was, in fact, the Lord who was calling him to this service. Then, the Angel of the Lord confirmed a summons from Gideon, causing the fire to miraculously consume an offering he had prepared for the Lord.
The first thing that God commanded Gideon was to destroy the altar of Baal that belonged to his father, he also had to bring down the poster-idol of Asherah and build an altar to the Lord at the top of the elevation. Gideon did all this at night, because he was afraid of his family and the inhabitants of the city.
Early in the morning, the townspeople saw that Baal’s altar had been destroyed and soon concluded that Gideon was responsible and that he should die as a result of what he had done. However, his father, those men went up and said that if Baal was really a god, he would have defended himself when his altar was destroyed. In fulfilling the mission that God proposed to him, Gideon is faithful. After that episode, the men whose idols he destroyed renamed him “Jerub-Baal” (Judges 6:32).
The victory of the servant of God
Among the highlights of Gideon’s life is his victorious battle against Israel’s enemies, when the Midianites together with their allies undertook an invasion against the nation and this triumph was preceded by the anointing of the Holy Spirit to deliver the people (Judges 6: 34). The servant of God managed to enlist men from the tribes of Manasseh, Zebulun, Asher and Naphtali, so before entering the battle his troops totaled 32,000 men, but in obedience to God he reduced them to 10,000 and then to 300.
That done, Gideon separated the army into three groups and led a night attack that left the Midianites confused and terrified. The Israelites made a great noise when they blew their trumpets and shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon”. With the enemy army destabilized and on the run, Gideon pursued and killed his leaders, the battle was finally won and the people suggested that Gideon rule them as their king, but he refused and said that the Lord would rule them (Judges 8: 22-23 ).
What can we learn from Gideon?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3: 5-6
We can learn that no matter how great the odds are against us, our God is sovereign and He will always be with us to be qualified for battle, as long as we remain faithful to His call and obedient to His commandments. We can also see how God uses ordinary people to carry out his plans, although with Gideon the key factor was his willingness to obey God.
Gideon was careful to ensure that he obeyed God’s will and we must do the same, in the end I would like to leave a passage written by the apostle Paul: “And do not conform to this world, but be transformed by renewing your understanding , so that you will be a good, pleasant and perfect will of God” (Romans 12: 2).
God bless you!
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