Gideon is an interesting character; I know lots of people love to take his faith in God as an encouragement.
But I have problems with figures of the Old Testament especially.
Without going into all the saved by grace, thru faith, because of Christ thing, because we know all that.
Let me pose a few questions.
Did Gideon really have faith? Did Gideon lead a life of faith?
Did Gideon’s 1 act of faith to save Israel get him into heaven?
How did Gideons life reflect his faith, his belief in God?
Was Gideon a man of God? Was Gideon just used by God, but not Gods own?
I started this research with a bit of a “I’m gonna be hard on Gideon” attitude, but have been re-adjusting that.
I looked at the only other mention of Gideon in the bible, in the famous faith chapter in Hebrews 11.
Gideon is mentioned as….
32And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
In Judges 6-8, we see this progression:
Gideon questions God a few times about being the one chosen to fight for Israel and why was this happening to Israel.
God tells Gideon 2 times He will be with him.
Gideon wants another sign from God. God waits for him to get the proper stuff.
God takes the offering and Gideon believes Him.
V23 God tells Gid he shall not die. Gid build an altar to God, but is afraid of the men in the village and his fathers household, so he does it at night.
V28 Men of the city get pissed off about their altar being tore down.
V34 Gid, under the Spirit, gathers Israel to fight.
V35-36 Gid does the fleece thing ( another time he asks of God, cuz he is wavering?) (that makes about 6 times now)
7V2-7 The Lord divies up the people for Gid and picks out 300 men who drink with their hands (a requirement every army should have 🙂 )
7V7 the Lord says I will deliver you with 300 men.
7V12-14 then another nudge from God, go listen at the camp and see what I will do.
V15 Gid does bow in worship, convinced again temporarily that God has given the Midian camp into his hands.
7V16-18 Gid tells the army to yell ‘For God and Gideon.’ Did God tell him to do that?
Confusion of the enemy ensues. After the fight, Leaders of Succoth and Penuel wouldn’t feed Gid’s soldiers and Gid gets pissed.
Chapter 8V16-21 Gid actually tells his young son to kill the leaders, but then does it himself. Did God tell him to do this?
8V22 Men of Israel want Gid to rule over them, Gid says no, The Lord shall rule over you. (This is good….)
8V24 YET Gid said to them, get me each of you an earring from his spoil.
V27 Gid made an ephod (priestly garment) (some commentators say this was made to worship Yahweh, but mens evil hearts want to worship idols…)
and put it in his city and all Israel played the harlot to it and so that it became a snare to Gid and his household.
After 40 years of peace
8V28-30 Gid had 70 sons from many wives (I’m assuming he knew the law?)
V33-35 As soon as Gid dies the sons of Israel did not remember the Lord their God or show kindness to Gid household. ~ in accord to all the good that he had done to Israel.
So Gid needs constant reassurance from God, kinda over steps his bounds with people, builds an idol, presumably with good intentions, has whole bunch of wives, etc.
Now what I have been thinking is…
Is Gideon like us, just a man, sinner, trying to make his way thru life, needing constant reminders from God, or
is Gideon a giant of the faith, ( Hebrews 11 states) someone really extra-ordinary, that we should really look up to, for what he accomplished?
Just like Sarah, She laughed at God, laughed. at. God. and God heard her, (Gen 18:12) everyone just kinda skips over that part of her life and marvels at what a great role model she is.
Heb 11:11 –
By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. (Did she consider Him faithful?)
She was mean to her servant (after she let her hubby sleep with her) didn’t believe God, laughed at Him, let her hubby sell her and lied for him (Gen 20) and I’m assuming slept with other men (assuming here)
Laugh qxc #6711
to laugh, mock, play
(Qal) to laugh
to sport, play, make sport, toy with, make a toy of
Ok, anyway, so am I just being negative or a realist or just plain not very tolerate on the man or what?
Gideon God won Israel back, using Gideon.
Just as God uses us, in His own Way and His own time.
And I guess we must obey the call of the Lord, humbly and earnestly.
The people in the bible are just like you and me, they are flawed, sinful creations of the Most High God.
I guess if the OT people were too hard to relate to we wouldn’t use them as examples, heed instruction from their lives, realize their and our need for a True Saviour!
Comments encouraged, I know there is better informed scholars out there than little old me.
Also, please pray for my heart to be more encouraging and patient with others I deal with on a daily basis, that they are in need of love and guidance just like me, and if I didn’t have lovely, kind, encouraging Godly examples in my life, would I be here?
** A good prayer for us all……..