A Mighty Warrior Can Deliver the People from Cyclical Evil
Do you consider yourself an average person or a mighty warrior? Gideon in the Bible considered himself an "average Joe" but God viewed him as much more. Read to find out more on how God can use average, ordinary people to accomplish great things.
The Cycle of Judges
In the Old Testament book of Judges, there was a repetitive cycle that can be seen over and over again.
This is what it looks like:
- The people forsook God's instructions.
- God sends an oppressor.
- The people cry out to the Lord for help.
- God delivers the people.
- The people prosper until the Judge dies and the people return to their evil ways (step 1).
Have you ever heard the saying: "Those who don't study history are destined to repeat it?"
Who Was Gideon?
In the Old Testament book of Judges, we find a man named Gideon named to be a judge of the Hebrew people.
Gideon means "destroyer" or "mighty warrior" in Hebrew.
But Gideon was not anything more than an ordinary person, called by God to restore the Israelites from their wicked ways.
In fact, the very chapter where the story of Gideon begins (Judges 6), it begins with:
"The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord..."
And so begins another cycle in the book of Judges.
Judges Chapter 6
In Judges 6:11, the angel of the LORD approached Gideon threshing wheat in a winepress, and says, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. ”
Note: An angel of the LORD can only give direct instruction and messages from God, so when an angel of the LORD spoke, his message is synonymous with God speaking.
The significance here is that Gideon was hiding in a winepress. People don't thresh wheat in a winepress because winepresses are located in valleys, and wheat threshing is done on mountain-tops, where it is windy.
The second thing to note is that God saw Gideon based on what he was - a mighty warrior. Gideon did not possess a lot of courage, but he was nonetheless a mighty warrior in God's eyes.
Practical application: If you are willing to follow God's instructions, he will supply the strength and the courage. You simply have to be willing to follow God's instructions.
An Altar to God and Two Signs of Validation
From there, Gideon was given instruction to cut down the Asherah pole to the false god, Baal, and build a real altar to God in its place. He did so, and the people became upset with him. The people wanted to kill Gideon in front of his father, Joash. Instead, Joash made a good point. If Baal was a real god, then he can defend himself (and his altars) when someone destroys them. So instead of dying, Gideon lived, and was given the name Jerub-Baal, which means: "Let Baal contend with him."
After this event, Gideon asked God to prove that he was behind him as a mighty warrior. Gideon asked God to cover a wool fleece on the floor, and to only soak the fleece in dew, leaving the floor dry. God did, and Gideon wrung out the water into a bowl.
Gideon asked one more time for God to prove He was behind him as a leader. He asked the second time for God to cover only the ground with dew, and leave the wool fleece dry. God did, and did something that could not naturally happen without supernatural intervention.
Practical application #2: If you ask God to reveal Himself to you in a way that you know He is real, He will. Make a plea for God to speak to you in a way that you will know He is real to you. But in turn, you must repent from your sinful ways, asking God for forgiveness.