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02 Apr Bible Personalities-Gideon


On the 16th of Nisan, “The angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of God appeared to Gideon, he said, “God is with you, mighty warrior.”

 

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not God bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now God has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

God turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

God answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”

And God said, “I will wait until you return.”

Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.

The angel of the Lord said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. Then the angel of God 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 God disappeared.

When Gideon realized that it was the angel of God, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of God face to face!”

But God said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”

So Gideon built an altar to God there and called it God Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

That same night God said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to God, your Lord on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”

So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as God told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.

In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!(Judges 6:11-28)

Haggadah: In every generation, each person is obligated to view himself as if he went out of Egypt:

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not God bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now God has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

Gideon used the concept of, “In every generation,” to argue with God: “Where are You now?”

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