Are you familiar with Gideon? Do you know why the people who leave Bibles in hotel rooms call themselves the Gideons?
Well, let's read about Gideon first and found out about the Gideons later.
DAILY READINGSJudges 6-8 & Psalm 72
DAILY NOTESJudges 6:1-10
- The Israelites are oppressed by the Midianites. They are forced to flee to the mountains and caves. The Israelites were "impoverished" and the land was "wasted."
- The Israelites call out to God. A prophet arose to confirm their current situation is due to their turning away from God. Scripture doesn't tell us who the prophet was, but Jewish commentary offers a name.
- Gideon is approached by an angel of the Lord. He is called a "mighty warrior."
- After the sign Gideon asks for comes to pass, he believes he has seen the angel of God and believes what he has told him.
- God commands Gideon to pull down an altar to Baal. The altar belongs to his father.
- Gideon follows through, but is fearful of his family.
- Gideon's name is changed.
- This chapter outlines Gideon's defeat of the Midianites.
- Gideon takes 32,000 troops. God told Gideon to tell the troops who were scared to go home--10,000 remained. Afterwards, God told Gideon to watch for another sign to sift them out: those that drank water like a dog--300 troops remained.
- Gideon and 300 troops would battle against the Midianites. It was God's way of ensuring Israel would not be able to take credit for the victory.
- Gideon seeks help from two cities. They refuse him and his troops. Consequently, Gideon promises he will return in victory and repay their refusal with destruction.
- Gideon is victorious again. He requests the people of Israel to give him earrings of gold. He makes an ephod of them. It becomes a part of idol worship.
- All but the final few verses of this psalm are about a king.
- Most likely, this was psalm was used for a coronation service or blessing of a new king.
OTHER OBSERVATIONSThe Israelites cried out to God because they thought the Midianites were their problem. And why not? The Midianites caused all kinds of trouble for them. It was because of them they were in hiding. But God sends an unknown (unknown to us) prophet to tell the Israelites that the Midianites are not their problem. They are their own problem.
How easy it is to look to others for our troubles. How often it is that are troubles are caused by our doings. That takes a great deal of wisdom and faith to receive that message. When we stop blaming others, we can allow God to focus our healing and restoration.
We'll never know who that prophet was, but he sure didn't pull any punches.