The Doctrine of
When things go badly that does not mean that God has abandoned you.
It means that God is working in your life. Gideon was wrong (Judges 6:13).
God can use any believer that is willing to grow. He can change you
from spiritual timidity, unbelief, and self-centeredness to spiritual
courage, faith, humility, and orientation to Himself and His plan. But this
takes time. Gideon started (Judges 6:25-27; 7:1-8, 15:8-23).
Believe God right from the beginning and therefore serve Him
faithfully by learning and applying His word instead of testing God like
Gideon because you do not believe Him and you are worried. Faithful
application will result in contented rest (faith rest), accomplishment of
your task, and spiritual victory. Gideon failed a lot (Judges 6:12-18,
36-40; 7:9-15; 8:27).
When the will of God is clear (statement or principle from Bible) do
not wait for God to verify it. Act on it. Do not check up on God or test
Him. If the will of God is not clear, then 1) live inside Godís plan 2)
apply the doctrine that you know and 3) use the principles of divine
guidance. Gideon did not do this and failed (Judges 6:12-18, 27, 36-40;
The learning of a few spiritual lessons des not make a believer
mature. But you are able to serve faithfully with the growth you have.
Spiritual growth and health requires day to day learning and applying the
Word of God
(Judges 8:21-23; Hebrews 11:32-43).
Repeated spiritual failure does not disqualify you from important
service for the
Learn by failures and apply Godís word (Hebrews 11:32-34).
Certain kinds of warfare are right (Judges 6:14-16; 7:9).
The Doctrine of
Israel did not
live by Godís plan or follow His will so God sent the Midianites in order
to correct Israelís relationship with Him (Judges 6:1-6). The Midianites
were ďhighly mobile Bedouin marauders mounted on camels. They infiltrated
from the desert and filled the valleys with their flocks and tents,
harassing the Israelites populace scattered in open settlements.Ē
(MacMillan Bible Atlas, page 55).
years Israel finally asked the Lord
for help (Judges 6:6).
Lord sent a prophet who
reminded Israel about Godís goodness to them, their relationship to Him
(fear the Lord), and their
failure (Judges 6:8-10).
Then the angel
of the Lord visited Gideon
angel of the Lord was the
Lord (Yahweh), but He looked
like a man to Gideon. The writer identified Him as the angel of the
Lord. Gideon calls him Lord
(sir). The angel of the Lord
was God the Son (John 1:18).
angel of the Lord called
Gideon a valiant warrior (gibor hehayil). He was not a valiant
warrior at the time. He was timid. He was beating wheat in a wine press
(Judges 6:11-12). Gideon misinterpreted the divine discipline upon Israel
(Judges 6:13). The Lord
(angel) gave clear instructions to Gideon. He was to lead the Israeli
troops against the Midianites and defeat them. Gideon refused to trust the
Lord. He made excuses.
Gideon was demonstrating pride, not humility, when he said that he was the
youngest in the least family in Manasseh (Judges 6:14-16).
Gideon eventually realized that the messenger was probably the
Lord and asked for
(Judges 6:17-18). The angel of the
Lord demonstrated that He was the
Lord. Gideon was finally
convinced (Judges 6:19-24). By now Godís will was clear. Godís power was
given. Gideonís answer should have been ďYes sir,
Lord.Ē He should have
prepared to fight.
the Lord and destroyed the
idol altar (Judges 6:25-32). He accepted this order from the
Lord. This confirmed that
Gideon knew the Lord was
commanding him. But Gideon was still timid. He was not thinking and
acting with the confidence and energy that Godís representative should
exhibit (Judges 6:25-28).
for the fight (Judges 6:33-35). At this point Gideon clearly knew Godís
will and had Godís support (Judges 6:14, 16, 22). He had the Holy Spirit
(Judges 6:34), and he even had Israeli soldiers (Judges 6:34-35, 7:1-2).
God by asking that He perform two miracles on the wool fleece (Judges
6:36-40). This showed disobedience toward the
Lord (lack of faith, lack of
orientation to the Lord and
His plan, lack of authority orientation, lack of humility, and occupation
with self) by asking for further evidence of Godís support.
Lord decreased the number of
Israeli troops before the battle against the Midianites (Judges 7:1-8).
He did this so Israel would have no reason to think their human ability
defeated Midian (Judges 7:2). The first cut removed the fearful so 22,000
people left and 10,000 stayed
(Judges 7:3). The second cut left 300 with Gideon. God chose those that
lapped water from their hand (Judges 7:4-8). God promised again to give
showed fear so God let him make an unnecessary reconnaissance with Purah,
his servant (Judges 7:9-15).
Gideon wanted to have human evidence instead of trusting the Word of God
about the coming battle (Judges 7:9-11).
Gideon heard someone tell about a dream. The dream pictured Israel
defeating the Midianite army. Gideon was quick to believe this man, but he
had trouble believing God (Judges 7:12-15). Gideon finally believed that
God would defeat the Midianites, after other people said God would.
force was made up of three companies, each with 100 men. They were all
armed with trumpets and torches inside jars. The
Lord had already decreed
that they would win (Judges 7:15-18). The Midianites had 135,000 (Judges
7:16 and 8:10). They were very mobile. They had camels (Judges 6:5).
force was really the Lordís
strike force. When they attacked the enemy (middle watch was about 10 at
night) the Lord confused,
panicked, and defeated the Midianite army (Judges 7:19-23).
Gideon sent out
a call for reinforcements to help the pursuit. The men of Ephraim were
mad because Gideon had not asked them to fight in the earlier battle, but
they joined in the fight after Gideon (thinking clearly under pressure)
calmed them down (Judges 7:24-8:3).
Gideon and his
force successfully carried out the mop up operation without any help from
the men of Succoth and Penuel (both Israeli cities in Gad on the east side
of the Jordan River (Judges 8:4-17).
men of Succoth and Penuel were hesitant to trust God so they would not
commit themselves to Gideonís cause (Judges 8:4-9). Their resistance showed
their rejection of God and willingness to accept the Midianites. They will
(Judges 8:13-17; 5:23).
Gideon and his strike force followed a caravan to Karkor, east of the Dead
Sea. There they finished off the enemy army (Judges 8:11-12), then executed
the Midianite kings (Judges 8:18-21). Note that the
Lordís army searched out and
destroyed the enemy. This was the will of the holy and loving God.
demonstrated by his humility that he was beginning to learn important
lessons (obey God, authority orientation, humility, faith in God and His
plan), but he had trouble with the details was we learn from the Ephod
incident (Judges 8:22-35).
After the Lord had restored
the peace through Gideonís military force, the people asked Gideon to become
the king. He refused. The Lord
was the true king (Judges 8:22-23).
Gideon was probably well meaning when he made the ephod (priest loin cloth,
Exodus 39:1-26), but he should have known that it would become and idol
(Judges 8:24-27; Exodus 32:1-8).
prospered until Gideon died. Then, without Gideon to lead them, Israel
reverted to the Canaanite way of life. People need strong leaders (Judges