- The patriarch Jacob (who was named Israel) had 12 sons who became 12 tribes. Ephraim and Manasseh were sons of Jacob’s son Joseph but were considered two separate tribes (Genesis 48:5).
- Although Manasseh was older than Ephraim, Ephraim was considered the leader (Gen 48:14-20) and there was an old jealous conflict between the two (Isa 9:21). Since Gideon was from the tribe of Manasseh, Ephraim’s men now react and are upset that they were not allowed to be part of the battle.
- Humanly speaking, the leader of the war against the Midianites should have been a person from the tribe of Ephraim, but since Gideon was chosen by God, he did nothing wrong. Gideon pointed out to God that he was actually from the tribe of Manasseh (Judges 6:15), but since God does not have respect for persons (1 Sam 16:7, Acts 10:34, Rom 2:11), God chose Gideon anyway.
- Gideon acts wisely when he “appeases their anger with a soft answer” (Proverbs 15:1), thus avoiding a potential civil war in Israel.
- In the same way, the vast majority of intra-church conflicts can be resolved by a wise leader.
- Gideon and his small army are exhausted, so Gideon asks the city of Succoth for food.
- Gideon doesn’t ask them to join the battle, only to be there to support those who are fighting.
- Suckot don’t want to contribute any food, they don’t want to support Gideon until he’s won.
- Gideon, with God’s help, has just defeated an army of 135,000 Midianites with the help of 300 men, but now when they are about to finish the job, they get no help.
- Most of the time it is not our enemies who make us give up, but the unwillingness of our friends.
- When you are a young and passionate Christian, you often want to go out and evangelize or activate yourself for the Kingdom of God in some way.
- It is extremely important that the elderly are supportive and helpful, rather than uttering discouraging words such as “You start off on fire but then it cools down…”
- But while you may be discouraged by your friends’ reluctance, it’s important not to give in to it.
- Gideon knew he would win the battle with or without Suckot.
- It was only Suckot who lost by not helping Gideon.
- As we see from this verse, the Midianite army totaled 135,000 men.
- Gideon attacks an army of 15,000 men with his 300 soldiers. The Midianite army is not as large as last time, but it is still 50 times larger than Gideon’s.
- Gideon was previously unsure of his own calling, but is now encouraged by the fact that he saw God blessing him last time, so now it is easier for him to believe.
- In the same way, today we may be unsure whether we really dare to evangelise, for example, but if we hear other people’s experiences and testimonies, our faith is strengthened and we become bold.
- After Gideon has defeated the Midianites, he returns to Succoth.
- Sukkot didn’t want to trust God and Gideon and now Gideon is going to punish them for it.
- Gideon lashes Succot’s leadership with thorns and thistles and tears down the tower in the city, killing the men.
- It’s hard to understand why Gideon punishes them so severely, and the text doesn’t show it either. Presumably Gideon considered Succoth to be traitors and therefore treated them in this way.
- What you have to remember when you read texts like this in the Bible is that the Bible describes real people, people who do both right and wrong.
- The Bible is not a fairy tale, the Bible is true and realistic.
- Not everything in the Bible has to be a model for us, it can also be a warning example for us.
- Gideon discovers that the Midianite kings have murdered Gideon’s brothers.
- Gideon first wants his own son to execute the kings, but he doesn’t dare, so Gideon has to do it himself.