Jdg 6:8 That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;
I had to come back to this spot, because as I was doing this study with my son, and I noticed something. It said that God sent them a prophet, but it never identifies who that prophet is. So I started digging around, cross referencing; and I discovered that that particular prophet was Elisha.
Jdg 6:9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land;
Jdg 6:10 And I said unto you, I [am] the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.
Jdg 6:11 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which [was] in Ophrah, that [pertained] unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide [it] from the Midianites.
One translation of this says that He sat under an oak tree. Another translation says a terebinth tree. If it was indeed a terebinth tree, it would be interesting because these particular trees were used to make the asherah poles for baal altars. It sounds like a statement of God meeting him where he was, and where he was wasn’t all that great. The signifigance of this will be seen later.
Gideon = “hewer”
1) youngest son of Joash of the Abiezrites, fifth judge of Israel who led the Israelites against the Midianites
So this guy is a hewer; a seemingly simple job that does not necessarily indicate leadership qualities, yet the angel of the Lord tells him that he is a warrior; and not just any warrior, but a mighty warrior.
Jdg 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD [is] with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
The reference to the angel of the LORD in the Old Testament, is of Jesus Christ, Himself. The LORD appears to him and tells him, I AM is with you.
Take note of the fact, that here, when God addresses Gideon, He calls him what He sees him as; a mighty man of valour. We never see ourselves as God sees us. And here, Gideon begins to express his self doubt, more so, because he still doesn’t realize who he is speaking to.
Jdg 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where [be] all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
Here, it is obvious that Gideon recognizes the spiritual authority of the individual he speaking with; however, he has not yet realized that he is actually speaking to God, himself. He speaks of this person (the Angel of the Lord), recognizing his authority by referring to him as Lord. And he speaks of God by referring to Him as LORD.
Jdg 6:14 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?
Another version, the NIV, states this verse in this way: ” Go in the strength you have, and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.” In other words, go in faith; because, aren’t I sending you? But, look at Gideon’s response. He is still not clear on who he is speaking to.
Jdg 6:15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family [is] poor in Manasseh, and I [am] the least in my father’s house.
Gideon has a self-esteem problem. He thinks he is nothing and no one. He starts to declare his worthlessness, by telling the Lord that he comes from the weakest clan of all the families in Mannaseh.
He elaborates further, by stating that not only is he from the weakess clan; but additionally, he is the least in his family. Basically, he says that he is so worthless, that even his family has no use for him.
His response is again, typical of most people. We tend to think so little of ourselves, or we allow our circumstance to dictate what we think of ourselves. Like most of us, Gideon had trouble with his self-image, and didn’t realize that God sees us in the light of His love, and in accordance to what He is recreating us to be through faith. Thus, Gideon needed assurance, and He found it in the Lord.
Jdg 6:16 And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
So the lord reassures him. He tells him, “Be sure of the fact that I’m going to be with you.” Not only that, but the attack against the midianites is going to be so well orchestrated; that it will look like they were struck down by one man.
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