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God prepares Gideon (6:1-40)
Israel’s return to sinful and idolatrous ways met its punishment in the raids of the Midianites. As usual the Amalekites were pleased to join in the attack. Year by year, for seven years, the invaders rode their army of camels from the deserts of Arabia, crossed the Jordan, and raided the fields and herds of the helpless Israelites. Their attacks reached as far north as Naphtali and as far west as Gaza. So fierce were their attacks that the Israelites could no longer live safely in the open fields or in the towns. They were driven to a life of poverty and hardship in their mountain hiding places (6:1-6).
When the Israelites cried to God for help, God reminded them that they had been disobedient and unfaithful (7-10). Nevertheless, in his grace, he would send them a deliverer. The man he chose was Gideon (11-14). In spite of an assurance of victory, Gideon was at first unsure of God’s call (15-18). Only after fire miraculously burnt up his offering was Gideon certain that God had indeed spoken to him (19-24).
Gideon began his reformation of Israel in his home town. He smashed the altar of Baal, along with its sacred wooden pillar, and built a new altar on which he offered holy sacrifices to Israel’s God, Yahweh, the only true God (25-27). His father, who was apparently caretaker of the altar of Baal, was the first to see the error of his ways and turn from Baal (28-32).
The men of the town were at first angry at Gideon’s action, but when he began to put together a fighting force to deal with the Midianites, they were the first to support him. People of other tribes followed their example and joined him (33-35). As the people prepared themselves to fight Midian, Gideon’s faith began to weaken, but God in his grace reassured him of victory (36-40).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Judges 6". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27