Gideon was a farmer, a warrior and a judge. He was the son of Joash and father of Abimelech. They lived at Ophrah, the valley of Jezreel.
Gideon was like many of us he doubted his own abilities. God appeared to Gideon as an angel. He told him that he was a mighty warrior and the Lord was with him. Gideon did not believe in himself and put the Lord to the test 3 different times.
Gideon prepared a meal for the angel and he touched the meat and unleavened bread with his staff, and the rock they were sitting on spewed fire, consuming the offering. Gideon then put out a fleece, asking God to cover the fleece with dew overnight, but leave the ground around it dry. God did so. Then Gideon finally asked God to dampen the ground overnight with dew but leave the fleece dry. God did this as well.
God had chosen Gideon to defeat the Midianites so he was patient with him. The Midianites had impoverished the land of Israel with their constant raids. Gideon gathered a huge army but God reduced it to 300. That night Gideon gave each man a trumpet and a torch concealed inside a pottery jar. At his signal, they blew their trumpets, broke the jars to reveal the torches, and shouted: " A sword for the Lord and Gideon!" God caused the enemy to panic and turn on each other. Gideon called out reinforcements and they pursued the raiders destroying them. The people wanted to make Gideon their king but he refused.
Even though Gideon was slow to believe, once convinced of God's power, he was a loyal follower who obeyed the Lord's instructions. He was a natural leader of men.
Lessons we can learn from Gideon's life:
-God calls in the middle of our present obedience. As we are faithful, he give us more responsibility
-God expands and uses the abilities he has already built into us
-God uses us in spite of our limitations and failures
-Even those who make great spiritual progress can easily fall into sin if they don't consistently follow God
The story of Gideon is told in Judges 6-8. He is also mentioned in Hebrews 11:32.
'And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.' Judges 8:23
until next time...nel