Man Holding Brown Rope Showing Strength

Gideon a Mighty Man of Valor

It’s wonderful to see what the Lord thinks of us. In Gideon’s case, He saw a mighty man of valor. This is far from what Gideon would describe himself. Gideon said that he’s the least in his father’s house and that his father’s house is the weakest in Manasseh (Judges 6:15).

‘And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” ‘

Judges 6:12

Personal Experience with God

When I wrote the post about the failure of the conquest of Canaan I wondered why it took one generation to forget about God. I asked whether the parents didn’t teach their children about God. It’s interesting what Gideon mentioned below. His fathers clearly taught him about the wonderful deeds that the Lord had done for them in Egypt. So what was it then? Was it just a refusal to believe? Was it because they hadn’t experienced God for themselves?

‘And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” ‘

Judges 6:13

Once again the Lord promises to fight for Israel. This would definitely be a wonderful experience for this generation that they wouldn’t forget.

‘And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” ‘

Judges 6:16

It reminds me of Jacob’s vow to make the Lord his God (Genesis 28:20-22). This vow was based on God protecting him and doing good for him. Jacob was seeking to experience God’s favour. As you read Jacob’s story, you see him talking to Isaac and referring to God as Isaac’s God and not Jacob’s God. Later in Jacob’s story, you notice how Jacob called God his own God. There was a shift where God became Jacob’s personal Lord.

Gideon and the Angel of the Lord

After the Lord showed Gideon a sign by consuming the meat and the unleavened cakes, Gideon now knows that this is the angel of the Lord and is afraid. The Lord comforts him by telling him not to fear and gives him peace.

‘Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” ‘

Judges 6:22-23

Notice in the Bible that every encounter with an angel is associated with fear. Then the angel right away says not to fear. It’s believed that the angel of the Lord here is actually the pre-incarnate Christ Himself. Take a look at this article about other occasions where Jesus appeared in the Old Testament.

The Call for Holiness

For God to use Gideon, He first wanted Gideon to turn to him and remove the idols in Israel’s midst. God wanted this to be done publicly for all to see. The reason why Israel was in this mess with the Midianites was because of their own evil and sin (Judges 6:1-6).

‘That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night. ‘

Judges 6:25-27

Defending your god?

Despite Gideon’s fear of everyone, he obeyed God and destroyed the idols. Once again, God saw in Gideon a mighty man of valor. When the people of his town saw that, they were angry and wanted to harm Gideon. Joash, Gideon’s dad, stood up for him. Joash basically said that if Baal were a god, he could defend himself. I often find this interesting even in our day how men could harm others in the name of their gods. If these gods were real, they would defend themselves.

‘But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.” Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar. ‘

Judges 6:31-32

The Sign of the Fleece

This is perhaps the most famous part of Gideon’s story. Quite a lot has been said about it, so I will only leave one thought here. Putting myself in Gideon’s shoes, I probably might have doubted when seeing the armies of the Midianites and the Amalekites crossing the Jordan and ready for battle (Judges 6:33).

The Lord Fights for Israel

The Lord wanted to make sure that Israel experience Him and His power to save. So He set out to do so.

‘The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ ‘

Judges 7:2

Encouragement for a Mighty Man of Valor

Now that the Lord shrank Gideon’s army to 300 men, the Lord was kind enough to encourage Gideon. He asked him to go down to the camp of the Midianites and hear a dream.

‘That same night the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the armed men who were in the camp. ‘

Judges 7:9-11

Gideon worshiped in the middle of the camp of the Midianites and didn’t wait. God’s encouragement led Gideon to worhip right away.

‘As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand.” ‘

Judges 7:15

The Lord Defeats Midian

This is a battle that went into the history books of Israel. They would tell it to their kids side by side with the story of the redemption from Egypt.

‘So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled. When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. ‘

Judges 7:19-22

Final Thoughts

The Lord saw a mighty man of valor in a young man that didn’t think much of himself. Gideon was not a perfect man and made some bad mistakes later on, but he made into the great hall of faith in (Hebrews 11:32). The Lord is not bound by space or time. He sees our entire life from beginning to end. For those who put their trust in Jesus, God now sees them as righteous as His own Son! What a wonderful thought to know how God views us.

How do you view yourself? And how do you think God views you?

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