Judges 6:11-27 – The Call of Gideon

Christian MölkJudges Leave a Comment

Jdg 6:11

  1. So bad was it for Israel that Gideon threshes wheat in a winepress.

Jdg 6:12

  1. Gideon found it hard to believe in the angel. Was the angel ironic? It must have felt like a slap in the face because Israel was de facto living in caves, had no food and was constantly under attack from Midian.
  2. Even though Gideon may have felt weak, he was strong because the Lord was with him. Even today, every Christian has access to the same power and blessing as Gideon: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb 13:8)

Jdg 6:13

  1. Gideon believed that God had forsaken Israel, but the truth was that Israel had forsaken God. The Midianites ravaging Israel was a consequence of Israel worshipping other gods.
  2. Gideon complained that things weren’t the same and he wanted a change.
    1. Here I think many of us can identify with Gideon’s situation.
      1. Sweden is not what it once was.
      2. The awakening is long over.
      3. Christianity is drastically declining.
      4. Many complain about the situation.
      5. We want to see a change.
    1. But for the change to happen, Gideon himself first had to change. A little later in the text, we will see that Gideon has to come to terms with his own and his family’s idolatry before he could begin the transformation of Israel at large.

Jdg 6:14

  1. At first, one might think that the angel is mocking Gideon; what power did Gideon have? After all, he was the least of all, poor and insignificant.
  2. But what God counts as power is not always the same as what we count as power. What Gideon had:
    1. He had been humbled by his poor work.
    2. He cared.
    3. He had knowledge of God’s past works.
    4. He was spiritually hungry and wanted to see what God would do.
    5. He listened to God.
  3. All of this shows that Gideon had a tremendous strength that God could use.
  4. We humans often think that strength lies in being good at leadership, charismatic, strong, good-looking and good at playing the guitar. But that’s not how God sees it.

Jdg 6:15

  1. Gideon didn’t think he could save Israel, and in a way he was right. Gideon couldn’t save Israel, but God could.
    1. A mighty God can use the smallest man

Jdg 6:16

  1. When God is with us, no matter how small and weak we are or how big and strong the enemy is, God will still prevail.
  2. The willingness of one person to obey God can affect the entire surrounding community.
  3. God wasn’t trying to cheer Gideon up and give him some confidence. We don’t need to believe in ourselves, but we need to look beyond ourselves and believe that God will do it through us.
  4. God not only sent Gideon, He also promised to be with Gideon.

Jdg 6:17

  1. At first, we might think that Gideon had a very weak faith and therefore needed confirmation that God will indeed be with him. But God actually gives Gideon a deadly mission, to lead the people of Israel into a deadly battle for survival, and it is not necessarily wrong for Gideon to ask God for a confirmation in this way.
  2. God gives Gideon a miracle and he receives confirmation. But a miracle in itself is not enough to guide our lives.
  3. Miracles and healings can happen even if it is not God who has done it.
  4. But Gideon had had a meeting with God, he had received the word of God and now a miracle from God, and now he should feel secure.

Jdg 6:22

  1. There are many indications that this was not just an ordinary angel who met Gideon, but that it was God himself who appeared:
    1. Verse 14: “Then YHWH turned to him and said…”.
    1. Verse 16: “YHWH said to him…”.
    1. According to Exodus 33:20, no man can see the face of God and live, so when Gideon realized that it was God he had seen, he was worried that he was about to die.
  2. Since no man has seen God the Father (John 1:18), it is quite possible that this was God the Son revealing Himself in human form to Gideon.

Jdg 6:24

  1. In response to God’s call and affirmation, Gideon worships God. A response we should all emulate.

Jdg 6:25

  1. “Baal” was a Canaanite fertility god and the name can be translated as “lord”.
    1. Baal worship was a recurring problem for the people of Israel who were tempted by the idolatry of the surrounding nations.
    1. Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18.
  2. “Asera” was a female deity who, according to Cananese belief, was married to the Cananese god El.
  3. Where Gideon lived, both God and Baal were worshipped.
    1. I think this is one of the devil’s tricks. The devil doesn’t always try to get us to stop worshipping God, he wants to get us to worship something else too.
    2. Jesus warns us and says. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and look down on the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.” (Matt 6:24)
    3. We Christians need to make sure that God is always first in our lives and that we do not worship anything other than God.
  4. The first thing God gives Gideon to do is to clean his own house. Earlier in the text, Gideon complained that things were not as they used to be, that God had left Israel and that he wanted a change. But for that change to happen, Gideon himself first had to change.
    1. I think there are many of us in Sweden today who long to see more of God and for a great revival to break out, but perhaps God first wants us to go through a trial and change.
  5. Before this village would begin to worship God, they would tear down the altar of Baal. Not because it is not possible to worship God in the same place as a pagan altar, but because we often don’t want to.
    1. In the same way, there may be things in our lives today that get in the way of our worshiping God. Maybe you have a hard time worshipping God? Maybe there is something in your life that is more important than God? In that case, you need to ask God if there is something you need to repent of.

Jdg 6:27

  1. One explanation for why Gideon waited until night to tear down the altar might be the most obvious; that he was a coward. But after all, it is better to obey God cowardly, than not to obey God at all.
  2. Another interpretation is that it doesn’t matter how you do God’s command, as long as you do it. If God gives you a command, it is up to you to decide how you want to carry it out. Nowhere does it say that God complained to Gideon because he waited until night.
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