Judges, Chapter 6

- ס א ל -

Gideon Is Sent to Defeat the Midianites

The Israelites continue to do evil in the eyes of God. The Midianites raid their fields and plunder their crops. The Israelites beg God for salvation. God sends them another judge to remind them of the reason behind their oppression. Gideon, the new savior, lives in Ophrah. An angel of God appears before Gideon and urges him to liberate Israel. However, like Moses, Gideon is humble and reluctant to accept his divine mission. Eventually he is persuaded. Gideon’s first action is to address the religious corruption of his people. Much to his neighbors’ discontentment, Gideon destroys the altar that his family uses to worship Baal. However, Joash, Gideon’s father, supports this initiative. Gideon then builds an altar to the one God, recruits an army, and prepares himself to fight the Midianites in the Jezreel Valley. Though he doubts his military abilities, Gideon is also aware of the real source of blessings and success in this world. This is why Gideon asks forand receivesa sign from heaven that he will be victorious.

“And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east… and left no sustenance for Israel” (udges 6:3-4)

“Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal” (Judges 6:30)

 “If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said” (Judges 6:36)

Mercy is the empathy that inspires support for those in need.