Summary: Gideon is a good example of despondency. He was so terrorized by the Midianites that he threshed wheat in a winepress—the worst place for that task.
Gideon; From Despondency to Defiance
Hebrews 11 is often called God’s “HALL OF FAME.”
In this chapter we find a character with whom we can identify.
His name is GIDEON.
Gideon’s name is found in verse 32.
A phrase in verse 34 especially describes Gideon: “OUT OF WEAKNESS WERE MADE STRONG.”
Gideon was weak, but God made him strong.
Sermon Text: Judges 6 & 7
Judges 6 begins by telling us that for seven years the Midiantes had been tormenting and terrorizing the Israelites.
During every harvest season the Midianites would rush in like swarms of locusts covering the land and devouring everything in their path.
This oppression became so severe that it caused the Israelites to hide in mountains and caves.
God’s people became beaten down and filled with depression.
The enemy tries to do the same with us today.
Today’s message will focus on three aspects of Gideon’s character: GIDEON’S DESPONDENCY, GIDEON’S DEPENDENCY, and GIDEON’S DEFIANCE
First, there is GIDEON’S DESPONDENCY (6:11-13)
Gideon is a good example of despondency.
He was so terrorized by the Midianites that he threshed wheat in a winepress—the worst place for that task.
In the Middle East to this day, you will see them threshing wheat by harvesting it, then taking it out on a big flat slab or rock where they beat the wheat and throw it in the air, so that the chaff is blown away and the wheat falls to the ground.
The last place you would do this would be in a winepress for the rather obvious reason that a winepress is exactly the opposite of an open threshing floor.
A winepress is a carved-out stone, in which you put the grapes, and the maidens come and dance around on them, and the juice comes out.
Within the confines of a wine press, only a small amount of wheat could be threshed at a time.
Gideon was trying to thresh his wheat in a winepress because he had lost heart and was in despair.
He was afraid that the Midianites might see him threshing wheat and steal it from him, so he hid in a winepress.
So in this opening scene we find Gideon AFRAID and HIDING from the enemy.
Verse11 says—“there came an angel of the Lord” to Gideon.
The phrase “an angel of the Lord” should have been translated “THE angel of the Lord.”
The angel of the Lord in the Old Testament is Christ Himself.
We call this a theophany, a preincarnate appearance of God in human form.
Verse 14 tells us—“And THE LORD looked upon him. . . .”
This proves to us that the angel of the Lord who spoke to him was the Lord Himself!
The angel of the Lord said to Gideon, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour” (v. 11).
The truth was, though, that Gideon wasn't a mighty warrior at all, but a SCARED FARMER.
He must have looked around and asked, “Are you talking to me? Mighty man of valor? This is me, Gideon, hiding in a winepress! You’ve got the wrong guy. The mighty man of valor lives down the road.”