I have heard that Israel means To strive with God ( and man, and prevail.)
This is really conveyed in the first several chapters of judges.
As there is much weighty sadness in the perpetual, habitual forsaking of God by his people...
But there is also a solemn acknowledgment that he is the only salvation that is to be grasped.
What comes through in the beginning of the chapter is God's faithfulness to a rebellious stiff necked people.
1 The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years
That is basic cause and effect. A forsaking of God leads to his hand to
place you into an atmosphere where you are more inclined to remember
Reading further down to verse 11, I began to see parallels in Gideon.
11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at
Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of
Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain
from the Midianites.
The first thing that I see in this, is
the position of Israel. In the Gospels those faithful to the call of God
are likened to wheat. Here we find that there is wheat in the bottom of
a winepress... which to me, paints the picture of the state israel was
in... They are the wheat, being crushed and oppressed.
analogy, Gideon would be likened to the Messiah as the harvester,
gathering his wheat from the enemy that seeks to devour it...To take
what he has not rightly sown.
Further parralles are drawn from 14-15
14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you
have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
This may seem like a basic link, but i felt that it should be mentioned
none the less. Both Gideon and Yeshua ( Jesus) were given the charge to deliver
Israel from oppression.
15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how
can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of
Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”
read this verse, I was reminded of a teaching that I heard that brought
up the fact that The messiah came from Nazareth, which was likened to a
town of nothingness. I would assume that would be like a garbageman
rising up out of Jerome Arizona, and being charged with liberating
Israel from geo-political pressures. ( no offense to sanitation
engineers who may follow current events on a global stage) I saw that as
a big thing as I see biblical men being brought up for a purpose coming
from nothing of any sort of stature. What was Joseph but a slave? I
digress. Just thinking here.
I found a great deal of interest in verse 17
17 Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign
to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me. 18 Don’t go away
until I come back and bring my offering to you.”
He answered, “I will stay here until you return.”
I know of many whom would argue against this type of scenario and
classify it as testing God. Yet, i see in other places in scripture
where we are to test spirits to see if they are of God. Is this a
backing of that? Probably. I don't know.
What exactly entails
testing God? I need to look into that in greater detail, because I think
a lot of people may mix up trying to discern his voice and will for
something that is an affront to him... and that is an area that needs
clear definition as one is of great benefit and the other determent.
21Then the angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in
his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang
up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then
the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight
that stood out from this are as follows: We have an offering of a
slaughtered animal and unleavened bread... it is placed on the rock...
where there is consuming fire.
That may mean something... but... I
dunno what. I just see that they are kinda signs of the messiah right?
Or perhaps I am just reading too much into something...
( Jesus is our passover lamb. Jesus is the bread that is unleavened by sin, He is the Rock of our foundation, He is the consuming fire)
22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he cried
out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord
face to face!”
23 “It is all right,” the Lord replied. “Do not be afraid. You will not die.”
Who was this that Gideon was speaking to that he feared he would die?
Is this in reference to the scripture that states that no man has looked
on God and lived? Usually, when men encountered "angels" they
figuratively crap themselves and bury their face in the dirt. That was
not Gideons initial reaction, which leads me to wonder what was
different about this messenger of the Lord. Could this perhaps, maybe,
be the same person Jacob wrestled with?
now I am going back to that offering...
20The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened bread
and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth." And he did so.
Could the broth be a shadow of blood poured out for us? Or am I just
hungry and thinking about food too much during scripture time. I dunno..
34So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.
So, Gideon has the Spirit of the LORD with him, and He already has
confirmation from God as to what he is supposed to do.... he should be
ready to roll out right?
Nope... better check again:
36Then Gideon said to God, "If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken,
37behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there
is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will
know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken."
38And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the
fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water.
What makes me wonder is why he questioned what God had already spoken?
He knew it to be God and the was no question about that. He knew what
God asked and he had no misinterpretations about that.
So, he does the fleece thing to make sure and God answers him clearly. Now he should be ready to roll out right?
Nope. Better make sure it wasn't a fluke...
39Then Gideon said to God, "Do not let Your anger burn against me that I
may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the
fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on
all the ground."
40God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.
I believe this is a testament to God's patience. Sometimes i wonder how
many times a person needs to ask a question that he already knows the
answers to. At what point does that cross over into testing God? It
seems that he is pushing a little bit... but for the right reason I
guess. Maybe that comes back to God striving with man. If my life was
about to be put in harms way, I may want to go forward with 1000%
certainty. However... I would hope that the angel of the Lord might be
enough for me. I dunno. Thats all i have for Judges 6