Verses 1-10 sets the stage for the entrance of Gideon. For 7 long years, God's chosen people Israel had disobeyed their Lord's command to "not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live" vs 10. As a direct result of their disobedience, they had suffered tremendous loss and suffering in the hands of their enemies. Vs 6 tells us that "Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help." So clearly, after being thoroughly dealt with by their oppressors, they remembered they had a God who could deliver them, and DID deliver them. Therein lies the first lesson from this story- God is always open to receive us back to Himself; even when our runaway was self-induced due to our disobedience. An even more important lesson is simply put- to obey.
Continuing on: Judges 6:11-16
"The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, 'The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.' 'But sir,' Gideon replied, 'if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.' The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”
The first thing to point out is the difference between what the angel said and what Gideon heard. The angel said "the Lord is with YOU". Gideon said "if the Lord is with US, why has all this happened" Many times, we get carried away with the physical occurrences and miss out on what God is really trying to say to us as individuals. Also, this passage made me ponder how oblivious we all can be. He went ahead to question the miracles their ancestors had narrated to them that God wrought, also he said God had abandoned them. Was Gideon even aware that his people were walking in disobedience? Was he conscious that their ways were not pleasing to God? Or had he become so consumed in his own righteousness that he didn't even notice the back-slidden state of his countrymen.
Those questions haunt me! Because I know I've definitely been guilty. Not interceding often. Not introspective enough for God to show me my faults but instead sharing blame like my ancestral mother Eve. Perhaps you're innocent..perhaps not...either way I say search your soul... Is your walk with God only for you? Are others benefitting from it? Christ wasn't called to perfect the trinity by His triumph..He fulfilled His selfless call to SAVE you and I.
More insight on the story of Gideon in NEXT post..
Pls share your additional insights, questions, comments!