Reading The Story of Gideon

 Reading the Bible Story Gideon

 Today's reading gives us the story of Gideon. That is the way it is normally read and emphasized. Yet the real story is not about Gideon but about God. God is the main character in the Bible story and also in all the little stories that make up the big story. The people are 'bit actors'. They come and go, kind of like JR on Dallas. [Sorry if you are too young to understand that analogy - you had to be there!]

 We would begin by noting that Israel has forsaken God and gone after idols (Judges 6:1). It is God that gives them into the hands of Midian. God responds to their cry of distress by sending them a prophet to explain that their situation is because of their unfaithfulness to the covenant of God (6:8f). Then it is God that appears unto Gideon. God declares that 'I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man" (6:16).  God gives Gideon a sign by having fire spring up from the rocks of an altar and consuming the meat and unleavened cakes that were offered (6:21).  The Spirit of the LORD is said to 'clothe Gideon' causing him to sound the trumpet and gather the people for war. Gideon asks: "If YOU will save Israel by my hand, as you have said…." (6:36).  God answers by a sign of the fleece and the gathering of dew (6:37ff).

 It is God that commands that Gideon scale down the size of his army (7:2). The reason is so that Israel cannot boast saying 'My own hand has saved me'. They needed to know it was God who gave the victory.  God assures Gideon yet again that "I have given [the enemy] it into your hand" (7:9).  It was the LORD that set every man's sword against his comrade and against all the army (7:22).  Gideon explains to the men of Ephraim that "God has given into your hands the princes of Midion, Oreb and Zeeb" (8:2). Again Gideon states that "the LORD has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand.." (8:5).

 God used Gideon. God gave Israel into the hands of Midian. God gave the victory to Israel. It is GOD that Israel must trust and rely on. I am glad that there were men of faith like Gideon, but I am more glad that there is a God to have faith in. Worship God.