Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Judges, chapters 6 and 7, chronicling Gideon’s unlikely victory over Midian. Some impressions from the text:
- Once again, Israel finds themselves succumbing to the same old pattern. Once again disobeying the Lord, they find themselves under siege by Midian in Chapter 6. Forced to take refuge in makeshift mountain shelters, Israel cries out to the Lord after the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East lay siege to their croplands.
- God responds to Israel’s outcry by once again reminding them who He is and what He has done on their behalf. He brought them out of Egypt. He defeated the nations and gave them the Promised Land. “But you have not obeyed my voice.”
- God chooses Gideon as his instrument for defeating Israel’s oppressors specifically because he is “the weakest in Manasseh… the least in [his] father’s house.” Once again, God chooses the least and most humble to accomplish his goals, and thus directs all glory to himself.
- Joash’s response to those seeking Gideon’s death is epic. “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.” The true God doesn’t need men to avenge him. He avenges himself.
- As Gideon’s forces amass to take on the Midianites, God’s concern is – as usual – for his own name. He devises various ways for Gideon to cut his forces so that the coming victory can be attributed wholly to Him.
- Gideon goes on to defeat Midian, an army “like locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number, as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance,” with only 300 men. Clearly, the glory for such victory is due to the Lord.
Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.
Catch up on the previous entries:
Israel drifts away after Joshua’s passing. – Judges 1 and 2
Judges and assassinations. – Judges 3 through 5