Pastoral Commentary for Judges 6:11-40
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
Responding the cries of His people, God sent the angel of the Lord to Gideon who was using a winepress to thresh wheat in order to avoid detection by the Midianites. When the angel said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior," Gideon asked him why, if the Lord was with them, had all of this happened? Since the prophet of God had already rebuked them for the cause of their suffering, the angel of the Lord simply commanded Gideon, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" Like Moses before him, Gideon protested. "My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." The LORD answered by reminding Gideon that He would be with him to strike down Midian. Still doubting, Gideon asked for a sign. When Gideon prepared a meal for the angel of the Lord, He told Gideon to put the food on a rock. Then the angel of the Lord touched it with his staff, and the bread and meat were consumed by fire. A frightened Gideon realized he was in the presence of the LORD, but God reassured him, "Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die." God commanded Gideon to destroy the idolatrous altar of his father, and offer a sacrifice to God on a new altar. Gideon obeyed, however he did so at night, out of fear. How often our fear of men is greater than our fear of God! When the men of the town discovered what Gideon had done they demanded that he must die. Gideon's father, however, wisely reminded them that if Baal was a true god he could defend himself against Gideon. When the enemy assembled, Gideon called on the tribes of Israel to respond. Once more, however, he asked the LORD for a sign. Placing a fleece on the threshing floor he asked God to soak only the fleece with dew, which God did. Nevertheless, Gideon sought yet one more sign, the opposite one, and God obliged by covering the ground with dew, while keeping the fleece dry. What a merciful God we serve, that He condescends to nurture and strengthen our faltering faith!