Great People of the Bible Series

GIDEON

When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."

(Judg 6:12 NIV)

Gideon is given a place of honour in the Scriptures among the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11:32. Between the time of Joshua and Gideon Israel was led by judges. These people werenít the rulers of Israel. Their role was to lead and make decisions for the people. Between Joshua and the first king of Israel (Saul), Israel was challenged on several fronts.

1. According to Judges 3:1-4 what challenge had the Lord left Israel to deal with?

__________________________________________________________________________________

2. Why did Israel get into bondage to other nations? (Judges 3:7-8)

_________________________________________________________________________________

3. What did God see as the real problem as to why Israel fell into sin? Can we deduce the source of the problem by His answer to the peopleís prayer as recorded Judges 3:9?

_________________________________________________________________________________

4. The judges were Godís answer to the nationís dilemma. But each Judge needed something in order to qualify. What was it? (NB. 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6; 14:19)

_________________________________________________________________________________

Gideon was used by God during a particularly oppressive Midianite occupation. They had brutally dominated Israel for seven years. They had destroyed or stolen their harvests and cattle during this period as well. Yet somehow Gideon managed to grow some crops and devise a means to process them. It was in this location that the Angel of the Lord appeared to him.

5. Why did the Angel of the Lord make the statement in Judges 6:12?

_________________________________________________________________________________

I find it interesting that Gideon didnít dispute what the Angel said. I wonder why? Perhaps he had been dreaming of delivering Israel from the menacing Midianites? Instead of arguing with the Angel he asks a question.

6. What question did he ask the Angel (vs 13) and why might he have asked it considering Judges 6:7-10?

__________________________________________________________________________________

7. Why did the Angel respond the way he did in Judges 6:14?

___________________________________________________________________________________

8. After that statement from the Angel, Gideon started arguing. What was his first objection to God really using him? (Judges 6:15)

___________________________________________________________________________________

9. Do you ever feel like Gideon at this point?

___________________________________________________________________________________

Much is made of Gideonís requests for signs. Some suggest that it was a display of his lack of faith and unwillingness to obey God totally. But letís not forget just how brutal the Midianites really were, and just how many of them there were. What God was commanding Gideon to do was impossible. I donít think that we can blame Gideon for wanting to be sure that God was going to go with him and therefore make the impossible possible.

10. What was the first sign that God gave Gideon, and what did Gideon realise at this point that he hadnít realised previously? (Judges 6:18-21, 22-24)

_____________________________________________________________________________________

11. What was the next sign in the rest of chapter 6 that Gideon asked for and how was it a demonstration of Godís grace that He complied with Gideonís requests? Should God do the same for us?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

God was using Gideon to make a point to Israel: donít depend on your natural resources. Gideon was a "nobody". When he was about to launch his first military campaign, God had to teach this lesson as well.

12. How did God want to show Israel and Gideon that they shouldnít depend upon their own resources? (Judges 7:2-8)

_____________________________________________________________________________________

13. How did God encourage Gideon in Judges 7:13-15?

______________________________________________________________________________________

When Gideon attacked the Midianites he instructed his men to declare that they were fighting for two people (Judges 7:18). This showed that Gideon was in partnership with God. We should remember this as well. Our efforts for God should be with God.

14. In what way does the early part of Judges 8 show us that Gideonís countrymen didnít give him their respect and support?

______________________________________________________________________________________

Sometimes we must embark on serving God without much respect from others. Our honour shouldn't be solely sourced from other people. Every Biblical leader who carried out Godís will faced a lack of support and respect at some point from their countrymen. Eventually Gideon was honoured toward the end of his life (8:23), but he actually violated that respect by leading Israel away from God (8:27).

15. What lessons can be learned from Gideonís life and applied to oursí?

______________________________________________________________________________________

Amen.

Bible study index

© 2001 Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania