The Israelites are hiding from “the people of the East” in Judges 6:3 that would “come up like a great number of locusts” in Judges 6:5 because these people came year after year and in Judges 6:4 “they left no produce in Israel, or sheep, ox, or donkey”. When they cried out to the Lord, he sent them a prophet that proclaimed “‘I am Yahweh your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.’ But you have not listened to my voice.” in Judges 6:10, a message to turn their hearts toward God. And then, the Lord appears to Gideon. There was no warrior, there was no defender until the word of the Lord came in Judges 6:12 The angel of Yahweh appeared to him and said to him, “Yahweh is with you, you mighty warrior.” Gideon reacts like any of us might and he questions the Lord because he knows he alone is not able to accomplish this, then in Judges 6:14 And Yahweh turned to him and said, “Go in this your strength, and you will deliver Israel from the palm of Midian. Did I not send you?”. In our own strength, we fail, but where the word of the Lord is, there is victory.
Wake Up, Wake Up, Sing a Song!
Those Who Love Him Are Like the Rising Sun
The Israelites Made For Themselves Hiding Places
When the Israelites fell away from the Lord, they fell into oppression and others ruled over them as in
Judges 6:2 The hand of the Midianites prevailed over Israel; because of the presence of the Midianites, the Israelites made for themselves hiding places that were in the mountains, caves, and strongholds.
This wasn’t just another king ruling over them as in requiring tribute payments for protection, this was constant raiding to plunder and steal anything of value. And, this wasn’t just a few bands of marauders, but “the people of the East” in Judges 6:3 that would “come up like a great number of locusts” in Judges 6:5 and in
Judges 6:4 They would camp against them and destroy the produce of the land as far as Gaza; they left no produce in Israel, or sheep, ox, or donkey.
and the result was exactly what you would expect of a plaque of locusts that came year after year, in
Judges 6:6 Israel was very poor because of the presence of the Midianites, and the Israelites cried out to Yahweh.
As they cry out to the Lord, he responds and sends a prophet who tells them, “‘I am Yahweh your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.’ But you have not listened to my voice.” in Judges 6:10.
Repentance comes first. They cry out to the Lord, but they must also turn from “the gods of the Amorites” and return to the Lord who is there waiting to deliver them.Yahweh Is With You, You Mighty Warrior
Yahweh Is With You, You Mighty Warrior
After the Lord sends a prophet, the “angel of Yahweh” appears in Judges 6:11. This appearance though, begins with the angel sitting under an oak tree as if he is just watching Gideon. Gideon is hiding as he threshes the little bit of wheat he has. Then the angel appears and speaks in
Judges 6:12 The angel of Yahweh appeared to him and said to him, “Yahweh is with you, you mighty warrior.”
Gideon’s response is actually quite negative and he complains to the “angel of Yahweh” about their circumstance and complains that God has allowed this to happen to them and has not intervened in
Judges 6:13 Gideon said to him, “Excuse me, my lord. If Yahweh is with us, why then has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not Yahweh bring us up from Egypt?’ But now Yahweh has forsaken us; he has given us into the palm of Midian.”
Then, there is a command spoken by the Lord. This is not the “angel of Yahweh” but “Yahweh” in
Judges 6:14 And Yahweh turned to him and said, “Go in this your strength, and you will deliver Israel from the palm of Midian. Did I not send you?”
Again, Gideon complains that his clan is the weakest and he is the youngest in Judges 6:15. And again, “Yahweh”, the Lord himself says in
Judges 6:16 And Yahweh said to him, “But I will be with you, and you will defeat Midian as if they are one man.”
and still, having seen an angel and with the Lord speaking to him as one man speaks to another, Gideon still says, “show me a sign” in Judges 6:17.
Peace Be With You You Will Not Die
Who Did This Thing?
In Order To See That You Will Deliver
Gideon has acted and has torn down the altar as the Lord had said to him. And though there was a reaction by the people of Israel, they recognized that if Baal were a God, he could defend himself so Gideon begins to gain some support. But it isn’t that way with the those that were oppressing Israel as they gathered against them in
Judges 6:33 Then all the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people of the east gathered together and crossed the Jordan; and they camped in the valley of Jezreel.
Gideon asks the Lord again for a sign in
Judges 6:36 Then Gideon said to God, “In order to see that you will deliver Israel by my hand, just as you have said”
The Lord has been working through Gideon, he has appeared to him and spoken to him and consumed Gideon’s offering with fire, and still, Gideon asks for a sign. We might understand though, that there were few prophets in the land, and there is no mention of priests. Gideon only knew a little history and what God was teaching him. There isn’t any complaint from God about this request and the Lord does confirm for Gideon that what he has said, he will perform in Judges 6:38 “it was so” and in Judges 6:40 “And God did so”.
- Judges 6:1–10 The Israelites Made For Themselves Hiding Places
- Judges 6:11–17 Yahweh Is With You, You Mighty Warrior
- Judges 6:36–40 In Order To See That You Will Deliver
- Judges 5:12-31
- Judges 6:1-40