the most unlikely hero
Judges 6:25-40 (JDV)
Judges 6:25 On that very night Yahveh said to him, “Take your father’s young bull and a second bull seven years old. Then tear down the altar of Baal that belongs to your father and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.
Judges 6:26 Build a well-constructed altar to Yahveh your God on the top of this mound. Take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood from the Asherah pole you cut down.”
Judges 6:27 So Gideon took ten of his male servants and did as Yahveh had told him. But because he was too afraid of his father’s family and the men of the city to do it in the daytime, he did it at night.
Judges 6:28 When the men of the city got up in the morning, they noticed Baal’s altar torn down, the Asherah pole beside it cut down, and the second bull offered up on the altar that had been built.
Judges 6:29 They said to each associate, “Who did this?” After they made a thorough investigation, they said, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”
Judges 6:30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he tore down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”
Judges 6:31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Would you argue Baal’s case for him? Would you save him? Whoever argues his case will be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead his own case because someone tore down his altar.”
Judges 6:32 That day he was called Jerubbaal, since Joash said, “Let Baal argue with him,” because he tore down his altar.
Judges 6:33 All the Midianites, Amalekites, and Qedemites gathered together, crossed over the Jordan, and camped in the Jezreel Valley.
Judges 6:34 The Breath of Yahveh enveloped Gideon, and he blew the ram’s horn and the Abiezrites rallied behind him.
Judges 6:35 He sent agents throughout all of Manasseh, who rallied behind him. He also sent agents throughout Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, who also came to meet him.
Judges 6:36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you will deliver Israel by my hand, as you said,
Judges 6:37 Notice, I will put a wool fleece here on the threshing floor. If dew is only on the fleece, and all the land is dry, I will know that you will deliver Israel by my strength, as you said.”
Judges 6:38 And that is what happened. When he got up early in the morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung dew out of it, filling a bowl with water.
Judges 6:39 Gideon then said to God, “Don’t be angry with me; let me speak one more time. Please allow me to make one more test with the fleece. Let it remain dry, and the dew be all over the land.”
Judges 6:40 That night God did as Gideon requested: only the fleece was dry, and dew was all over the land.
the most unlikely hero
If you want to use this passage as a proof-text for testing the LORD to see if he is in something you are planning, or to determine whether a certain option is his will or not – go ahead. But I do not think that is the point of the passage. The author of Judges was showing the weakness of Gideon to highlight the LORD’s strength. He was showing Gideon’s fear to highlight God’s patience and grace. Like all the stories of the Judges, Gideon’s story shows a God who is willing to act in spite of the unwillingness of his people to take a stand for him. The Israelites would have rather dig themselves holes and crawl in after them. They cried out to him for help. He sent the most unlikely hero to save them, so that the LORD might get the glory.
LORD, call us to do great things for you. We know we are not worthy, but if you are in it, your mission cannot fail.