In the time of Gideon, the Israelite people were under the hand of the Midianites. God allowed this due to the unfaithfulness of His people. As we see with the judges, the people would fall into sin, repent, and ask for forgiveness. God would raise up a judge and all was good and right. The the cycle would start over again. In all, there were seven cycles. Gideon was the fifth judge.
Gideon was beating the wheat in the wine press. This never happens because you need the wind to blow the chaff from the wheat. Gideon was hiding from the Midianites down underground. Gideon had NO pedigree. He was the the lowest from the weakest clan. In Judges 6:12, the angel of the Lord said to Gideon, "The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor". Gideon responds with asking Adonai (sir, not Yahweh or Elohim) why the Lord has allowed all of this oppression to happen. Gideon was blinded to the sin of his people. His eyes were in the wrong place (v15), but God was saying, "I'll be with you".
Through asking for a sign, Gideon realizes that the angel was from God. In verses 23-24, he makes an alter and calls it "Yahweh-Shalom", which means God gives us peace. After this, Gideon is willing to follow God's plan. God tells him to take his father's bulls, and to tear down the alter to Baal and the Asherah and make a burnt offering to God using the Asherah as wood for the fire. Gideon does this knowing it will cause great problems because he had God's peace in the middle of the chaos.
God goes on to use 300 men to take on 135000 opponents. Why? So only God could get the glory for the victory. God used Gideon, another unlikely person, to carry out His purpose. There is a joy in the obedience to trust Him. There is also a Kingdom purpose in trusting Him.
To Discuss Today:
1. What situation are you facing that is impossible for you to do? Are you available to let God use you?
2. When is a time where you experienced Yahweh-Shalom in your life? How did that situation grow your faith?
3. Can you recall a time where found your greatest strength in the midst of your greatest weakness? When?