3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: Gideon desired a sign from the Lord, that Israel would be saved by his hand, which was granted and repeated.

Chapter 18 Israel Sins

Judges 6:1–10

Text

1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.

2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.

3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;

4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.

5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. 6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.

7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,

8 That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;

9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land;

10 And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.

Introduction

In this chapter we have an account of the distressed condition Israel was in due to the Midianites, Jud. 6:1-6; of a prophet being sent unto them to make them aware of their sins, Jud. 6:7-10; of an angel

appearing to Gideon, with an order to him to go and save Israel out of the hands of the Midianites, Jud. 6:11-16; and of a sign given him by the angel, whereby he knew this order was from God, Jud. 6:17-24; and of the reformation from idolatry in his father's family that came from him throwing down the altar of Baal, and building one for the Lord, Jud. 6:25-32; and of the preparation he made to fight the Midianites and others, Jud. 6:33-35; but first he desired a sign from the Lord, that Israel would be saved by his hand, which was granted and repeated, Jud. 6:36-40.

Commentary

1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.

2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.--KJV

1 The people of Israel did what the LORD considered evil. So the LORD handed them over to Midian for seven years. 2 Midian's power was too strong for Israel. The Israelites made hiding places in the mountains, caves, and mountain strongholds {to protect themselves} from Midian.--GW

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Gideon was an unlikely candidate for God’s “Hall of Fame” [1](Heb. 11:32 ). When God called him, he was hiding. When God spoke to him, he raised problems instead of trusting promises. One of his favorite words was “if” (vv. [2]13 , [3]17 , [4]36 ; think about how this little word comes into play in these NT verses, [5]Mark 9:22–23 ). When Gideon did start to obey God, he worked at night [6](v. 27 ) because he was afraid of being discovered and he had to have repeated reassurance that the Lord was with him.

But God saw the potential in Gideon and even called him a “mighty man of valor” [7](v. 12 ). God sees the potential in you and says to you as He did to Simon, “You are . . . You shall be” [8](John 1:42 ). He knows your weaknesses and will accommodate Himself to your needs so that He might develop your faith. For a man with a worried heart, “And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die” was just what Gideon needed to hear [9](v. 23). You can enjoy God’s peace today as you fight the battle [10](Phil. 4:4–9 ).

We are told right-off-the-bat, “the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian.”—as if they did not learn anything from their former experiences, the Israelites again [11]apostatized , and new sins were followed by fresh judgments. Midian had sustained a severe blow in the time of Moses (See [12]Numbers 31:1-18) ; and the memory of that disaster, no doubt, inflamed their resentment against the Israelites. They were wandering herdsmen, called "children of the East," since they occupied the territory east of the Red Sea, adjoining to Moab. The destructive ravages they are said to have committed in the land of Israel, at this time, are similar to those of the Bedouin Arabs, who harass the peaceful peasant farmers. Unless some kind of settlement is made with them, they return annually at a certain season, when they carry off the grain, seize the cattle and other property; and even life itself is in jeopardy from the attacks of those prowling marauders. The vast horde of Midianites that overran Canaan was the greatest scourge which had ever afflicted the Israelites.

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