The children of Israel sinned again, and this time around they were oppressed by the Midianites for seven years. The Midianites impoverished Israel by destroying the crops and leaving no sustenance for God’s people. Israel then cried again unto the Lord. The Lord sent them a prophet to remind them of what their sin was -departing from the Lord and disobeying him by serving other gods.
After this revelation, God prepared for himself a man to deliver Israel in Gideon. An angel appeared to him while he was going about his ‘normal’ business. Gideon douted the declarartion of the angel when he was told God was with them and he – a mighty man of valour. The angel further charged him to go in his might and save Israel from the Midianites. ‘What a joke’! Gideon must be thinking he was dreaming.
The first issue Gideon raised was that of status, he was from a poor family in Manasseh, and even then the least in his father’s house. However, it was not about who Gideon was. God told him, I will be with you. I am the difference you need, it is not you, it is me in you! See me in you, and not you in you. However Gideon would not be so easily convinced, he requested for a sign/proof that God was really talking to him. The angel set Gideon’s offering on fire before vanishing from his sight as proof. Gideon saw it was God, and built and altar there called Jehovah Shalom – God is our peace.
The first task for Gideon was to cut down the altar of Baal and build an altar unto the Lord and offer a bullock unto the Lord. He carried out the task at night because of the fear of his father’s household. When the people woke up to see the destroyed altar they called for the head of Gideon. Joash his father however rose in his defence, and told the people if Baal is god, he should plead for himself?
And so as the Midianites and Amalekites gathered for war, God’s spirit came upon Gideon and he rallied the people round about him for war. Before he departed for war however he still wanted more proof. He wanted dew on a fleece of wool he put on the floor while it is dry on the earth around – this happened. The next night he wanted the dew on the earth around and not on the fleece, this also happened. So three times now, God has proven to him that He was with him.
Our God is a reassuring God, He could fight for Himself, when we ask, He answers, and he does not leave us without a witness, or without a proof. Trust Him today.
Some verses to remember
Vs 14: And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
Vs 16: And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
Vs 31: And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.