Gideon – Reluctant Hero
By Dennis Huebshman
There have been times in my life when everything seemed to be totally overwhelming. I have been stuck and there seemed no possible way out – every solution I came up with was absolutely wrong. Maybe you’ve experienced the same thing.
Normally during these times, we either totally disregard the Lord, or we try to tell HIM what the solution should be. We forget He is our Creator, our Father – and Father Knows Best! He knows what we need to succeed! We have examples in the Bible where God worked His way and marvelous and miraculous things happened
For example, in 2 Samuel 23:8-39 David tells of his brave men who followed him and as a result followed God.
Josheb-basshibeth killed 800 of the enemy with just his spear in one action.
Abshai killed 300 with his spear.
Eleazor and David fought the philistines in a field until Eleazor’s hand became so tired that it froze to the sword.
Benaiah did many deeds including killing an Egyptian that was 5 cubits tall by taking away his spear and using it against him. By the way, 5 cubits is about 90” or 7’5”.
None of these things could be accomplished without the Father being in control. David gave full credit to God, and also praised Him for giving him such loyal soldiers to be at his side.
Going to Judges 6, we’re going to take a look at Gideon the reluctant hero.
Gideon was the son of Joash who was an idol worshiper. Up until Gideon, the Israelites had been doing evil in the eyes of the Lord, and He used the Midianites to cause them grief.
The Midianites stole their grain, drove them from their water sources and attacked them on a regular basis.
The Israelites finally called out to The Lord God Jehovah to help them. God chose Gideon to be the leader. Gideon told the Angel of the Lord that appeared, He wanted a sign to prove He was from God. Pretty Bold! (In the Old Testament “Angel Of The Lord” is believed to be the pre-incarnate Jesus). Anyway, the Angel told Gideon to prepare a sacrifice of a prepared goat and unleavened bread to be brought to Him. When Gideon complied, the Angel touched the offering with His staff, and fire came from the rocks and consumed all the offering.
At this point, Gideon believed he would be destroyed because he saw God. After this test, Gideon tore down the altars of Baal and the evil symbols of pagan sexual immorality. His father re-named him Jerubbaal which means “Let Baal contend against him.” His father believed the god Baal would punish Gideon, but naturally that didn’t happen.
After this, Gideon tested God two more times. This shows God is very patient as He did what Gideon asked.
First, Gideon placed a fleece on the ground and asked that in the morning there would be dew on the fleece and the ground around it be dry. This was done.
Then, Gideon placed another fleece on the ground and asked that in the morning the fleece be dry and the ground wet. Guess what – yup – it happened.
At this point, Gideon assembled the Israeli army. He had a total of about 32000 men. God told him this was too many. So, the word went out that any who were afraid could leave; also, any who were newly married. After this 22000 left and there were about 10000 remaining. God told Gideon this was still too many.
Gideon could hardly believe this as the Midianites numbered many many more than this and had allies from other tribes from other nations with them.
God set up another test and that had to do with getting a drink at a nearby stream. Without going into all the detail, after this test, there were 300 men left. Gideon, as I would have been, was skeptical! However, he overheard an account of a dream where the Midianites were destroyed miraculously and this bumped up his confidence. God made sure he was eavesdropping!
He took his “army” to the hills around where the enemy was camped. He divided the army into three units of 100 men each. They were stationed at three locations around the enemy. Each man had a trumpet (shofar), a clay pitcher and a flaming torch concealed in the pitcher. God had told him that at the right moment – when most of the enemy were asleep – the signal would be given. The trumpets would be blown, pitchers broken, and torches held up. Everyone was to shout, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon.” And then to keep making noise, but to stand fast where they were.
God took over! He caused a great fear to enter the Midianite camp, and they literally began to kill each other. The survivors fled back toward their land and Gideon’s army pursued. All the Israelites that had left heard of this and joined in the chase and they chased the Midianites totally out of their land and ended up killing all the leaders.
With such victories as this provided by the Lord, you would think the Israelites would be faithful to Him from then on. From reading through the scriptures, we find this just isn’t so. It’s easy for us to look at this and see the shortcomings of all those people. We think they should’ve known better. Well, we should know better too, but we find ourselves trying to get along without God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Even today, I sometimes find myself saying, “It’s ok God, I got this!” He’s great though, He lets me know real quick just how much…”I don’t got this!”
For those of little or no faith, tests and trials become major challenges and stumbling blocks. Others here can say the same thing about happenings in their lives.
However, as it is, Christians can go to the Father and thank Him for handling our problems for us. We are able to put our problems in God’s hands and sleep a peaceful sleep knowing we have the Creator on our side. He sent His Own Son to make sure we have the opportunity to be saved properly. It was the only sacrifice that would be acceptable to Him. If we were to rely on our own resources, we would be in sad shape no doubt. He made it easy enough to be covered by the sacrifice, but many try to add things to it, or change how we worship and end up making it totally wrong.
Man’s way has never been right. Only Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and the only path to come to the Father. (John 14:6)
Don’t delay, call on Him today and you will be added to the Book of Life and avoid that long line at the Great White Throne Judgment. (Revelation 20)