Story About Gideon In The Bible

The story of Gideon in the bible is a story about a man taking authority in the face of fear and uncertainty. This is a great story to learn from for anyone would wants to step up and lead God’s army to accomplish his work.

Gideon was an unlikely leader of the Israelites, who was chosen by God to save them from bondage and lead them against the Midianites. He made a lot of mistakes, but in the end, he was willing to be used by God in that season of his life. Gideon is most often remembered for his 300 men and their defeat of over 135,000 warriors. My favorite part about Gideon is when he asks for signs from God before attacking the Midianites. Can you imagine asking for a sign today? I mean, if I asked God to do something and He responded with “No” I might be a little discouraged…but Gideon displayed great integrity and courage in demanding a visible sign from God.

According to the Book of Judges in the Holy Bible, Gideon was an influential and prophetic judge who successfully led the Israelites in battle against the Midianites. He is the central character of Judges 6-8 and 10. The Etymology of Gideon. According to William Smith’s Bible Dictionary, “the name is probably a patronymic from guyyĕn (‘to establish’); ‘the son of Jeonah.’ ” First Use in the Bible; The first time Gideon is mentioned in Judges 6:11 is his birth. His parentage and family are briefly discussed from verse 12-15. In verse 16, he flees before his father’s death to avoid being killed by Abimelech. Gideon Spies Out The Land In Judges 7:1-25, God instructs him how to save the Israelite people from their enemies, who were Phoenician forces led by Queen Maacah (also spelled Machbeth or Maccabea) and her husband King Succoth (also spelled Zebul or Zebol).

In the bible Gideon was called from a fleece of wool to free Israel from the Midianites by God. Gideon’s story took place in the land of Israel and completed between 1400–1200 BC. Currently, he is admired for his devotion to God in his actions and for his wisdom in his words.

Story About Gideon In The Bible

Compared with some of the other judges ruling Israel, Gideon seems to get a lot of press in the Old Testament, covering more than two chapters (compared with some of them only getting part of one chapter). Known as the greatest judge of Israel, readers might be surprised when they dive into the narrative to find a timid ruler. In fact, when we first meet him, he’s hiding from the enemies on a threshing floor.

Gideon, from the least of the least in terms of tribes, receives a call from God to take on the Midianites, a nomadic and huge group of people who depleted Israel’s supplies.

This article will dive into the person of Gideon, what God does to make him an even more unlikely candidate to save Israel, and why it matters for us today.

When it comes to Gideon, readers actually have quite a bit to unpack in Judges 6:11- Judges 8:32. Although this article won’t dive into everything, it’ll highlight two major portions of Gideon’s story. I highly suggest reading the entirety of the two chapters to get a full picture of Gideon and all God accomplished through him.

Story About Gideon In The Bible

Gideon was the fifth judge and renowned as the greatest of Israel. The account of his life is recorded in Judges 6:11—8:32. The backdrop for Gideon’s biography begins with the Israelites being ravaged by the Midianites as a consequence of Israel’s disobedience to God (Judges 6:1). For seven years they faced invasions from the Midianites, Amalekites, and Eastern foreigners who ruined their crops and destroyed their cattle. God’s discipline through the foreign nations caused the Israelites to cry out to God for help (Judges 6:6). God sends them a prophet to remind them of how the one true God had provided for them in the past and how quickly they had forsaken Him (Judges 6:8–10).

God hears their cries and graciously intervenes to deliver His people. He starts by sending the angel of the Lord to Gideon to call him into service (Judges 6:11–14). Gideon, whose name means “cutter” or “cutter of trees,” belonged to an undistinguished family of the Abiezrites, and he saw himself as unfit for God’s service (Judges 6:15). During his conversation with the angel, it becomes apparent to Gideon that he is speaking to the Lord Himself (verses 14, 16).

But Gideon needed proof positive that it was, in fact, God calling him to the divine task of leading a military force against Midian (Judges 6:17). Gideon asked the angel of the Lord to stay where he was while Gideon went to prepare a meal. Gideon returned with some food, which he set on a rock (verses 19–20). Then God gave a sign: “The angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared” (verse 21). Gideon built an altar in that place and called it “The Lord Is Peace” because he had seen God and did not die (verses 22–24).

The same night, Gideon destroyed the altar to Baal and the Asherah pole that belonged to his father (Judges 6:25–28). For this bold action, Gideon received the nickname Jerub-Baal, meaning “Let Baal Contend” (verse 32). Later, an alliance of Israel’s enemies entered the land, and “the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him” (verse 34). Men from the tribes of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali joined Gideon (verse 35).

After the troops had been mustered, Gideon grew nervous. He asked God for another sign to confirm his calling. He put out a piece of wool overnight and asked God to make it wet while keeping the surrounding dirt dry. God graciously did as Gideon asked. Then Gideon asked for yet another sign—this time he asked God to keep a fleece dry while making the surrounding dirt wet. Again, God complied, and Gideon was finally convinced that God meant what He said and that, under Gideon’s leadership, the nation of Israel would have victory over Midian (Judges 6:36–40).

But God was not done increasing Gideon’s faith. Before entering battle, Gideon’s troops numbered 32,000, but in obedience to God, he reduces them by 22,000 (Judges 7:2–3). God further pares down his army, leaving Gideon just 300 men (verses 7–8). This was against an enemy that is described as “thick as locusts” with camels “as countless as the sand on the seashore” (Judges 7:12, BSB). God’s purpose was to prevent Israel from boasting that their own strength had saved them (verse 2).

That night, God sent Gideon into the midst of the Midianite camp. There, Gideon overheard a couple of frightened Midianites discussing a dream that they took to portend disaster for them. Hearing this encouraged Gideon, and he rallied his troops (Judges 7:11, 13–15). Using some unusual tactics, Gideon and his 300 men attacked the Midianite coalition and routed the enemy troops (Judges 7:16–25).

After the victory, the people of Israel wanted to make Gideon their first king, but he demurred, saying, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you” (Judges 8:23). The peace won by Gideon lasted for a generation: “During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years” (verse 28). On a sadder note, Gideon requested that the troops contribute gold from the plunder of the battle so he could create an “ephod,” which he set up in his hometown (Judges 8:24–26). Whatever Gideon’s intent in fashioning the ephod, the people began to use it for idolatrous purposes, and “it became a snare to Gideon and his family” (verse 27).

In accomplishing the mission God set before him, Gideon proves himself to be a faithful man, a mighty warrior, a strong leader (Judges 7:17), and a diplomat (Judges 8:1–3). As such, he is included in a fitting testimonial for the great men of faith in Hebrews 11:32–34.

Gideon’s faith seemed to be weak at times, but God patiently worked with him and strengthened his faith to the point that he could carry out God’s mission. Gideon’s obedience to the Lord required him to take a stand against his own father and his own tribe. He feared what would happen when he tore down his father’s idol (Judges 6:24), but it is evident he feared God much more.

In battle Gideon took on far greater odds than seemed possible, but he knew where his strength lay (see Philippians 4:13). The sovereign God is faithful, and He saw Gideon through the battle to victory. Gideon also showed humility when the Israelites wanted to honor him as their king. He is a good example of those who obey the command to “trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6).

God uses ordinary people to accomplish His plans, and the key to Gideon’s success was his willingness to obey God. Gideon went from being a man in hiding, threshing wheat at the foot of a hill out of sight of the enemy, to vanquishing the same enemy in battle. However, he was careful to ensure that it was God’s will he was obeying. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

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