Convincing Gideon

Obedience/Disobedience

I have been thinking a lot about obedience lately. I want to always be obedient to God when He calls me to do something, but I am afraid that I often fall into disobedience by self doubt/delay and then having the opportunity just fade away. In other words, in my lack of making a decision or acting on a decision made, I miss the opportunity. That is not obedience, is it?

My pondering this has brought me to Gideon. The account of his obedience and his being used mightily by God is in Judges, chapters 6, 7, and 8. We are going to look at only excerpts of this wonderful account over the next few days. I encourage you to take time, today, to go and read the entire account.

Judges 6:11&12

Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.”

>Don’t get hung up on the word terebinth as I was. A terebinth is a small European tree.

Gideon’s Doubt

Gideon followed up what the angel had said by asking why they were suffering as they were if the LORD was with them. He had heard all his life about the mighty acts of God to bring His people out of Egypt, plus so much more! So why would God let these things such as this Midianite oppression happen?

Judges 6:14

And the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?

According to my study notes, in the Hebrew text (the language of the Old Testament), the angels of the LORD were identified with the LORD Himself. So that explains why the angel is now being described as the LORD, similarly, I think to when the Old Testament prophets spoke in the “voice” of the LORD when they prophesied.

It is almost like it is a one-way conversation, because the angel does not address what Gideon has said.

At this point, Gideon proceeds to tell the angel how he is not the one for the task – he is of the weakest tribe AND the smallest in his family. The angel continues to convince Gideon that he indeed is the one for the job.

Judges 6:16

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

At this point, Gideon wants to give the angel a gift, still not convinced that he is truly an angel of the LORD. So he goes and prepares meat, broth, and bread. He is instructed by the angel to put the meat and bread on a rock and pour the broth over it. The angel reached out his staff and a fire sprang up. The meat and bread were consumed by it. Then, the angel vanished.

Gideon’s Reaction

Now, Gideon was convinced that this was indeed an angel of the LORD and he was struck with fear of the LORD.

Judges 6:22-24

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.” Then Gideon built an altar there and called it, The LORD is Peace. To this day it still stands in Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.

God Finally Got Through to Gideon

This part of the account of is a little humorous to me because I can see myself in Gideon’s place. I can see myself nearly dying of fright in how lightly I had taken the angel of the LORD when realizing that he really was the angel of the LORD!! Part of me says, “Well who else would it have been?” and another part of me says, “Okay, so you say, but I need proof before I act on this thing you are telling me. May I see some credentials?” Then “Woe!!! He is who he says!!”

Gideon’s Right Response

Then, after God calmed Gideon’s sheer terror, Gideon built Him and altar. This was an act of worship from a man who suddenly knew God much better than he had a few hours earlier. Wow!

There is so much more to this amazing account, but we need to stop for today and we definitely have plenty to think about, huh?

Things to Ponder:

  • If an angel of the LORD appeared to you, how would you react/respond?
  • Would you whine about your circumstances for a bit before you were ready to listen? I probably would, I really don’t know what I would do!
  • Would you then give him all the reasons that you should not be the one to free Israel from the Midianites?
  • And the most awesome words so far are from Verse 16: “But I will be with you.” Would that end the argument for you? It definitely should, shouldn’t it?

May we be ready to hear from the Lord in whatever way He chooses to communicate with us.

Help us, Lord, to remember that everything You say will be in agreement with Your Word. Help us to know Your voice.

Go Deeper Today:

Matthew 5:27-37

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