Hall of Faith: Gideon, He Lead for God

Gideon was the son of Joash, from the Abiezrite clan in the tribe of Manasseh and lived in

A stranger appeared to Gideon

Ephra. As a leader of the Israelites, he won a decisive victory over a Midianite army despite a vast numerical disadvantage, leading a troop of 300 ‘valiant’ men.

The name Gideon means “feller” or “hewer” in Hebrew. A hewer is a person who cuts wood, stone or other materials or a miner who cuts coal from a stream.

The story of Gideon is found in Judges 6-8. In the story of Gideon, 40 years of peace have passed since Deborah’s victory over Canaan and the other nations they Israelites conquered.

Gideon tore down the altar to Baal

“But Gideon had yet to learn another truth—that Jehovah would turn from His anger, if Israel only turned to Him; and yet another lesson for himself: to put personal trust in the promise of God, based as it was on His covenant of love, and that whether the outward means to be employed seemed adequate or not. But Gideon was prepared to learn all this; and, as always, gradually did the Lord teach His servant, both by word, and by the sight with which He confirmed it. The reply of the Angel could leave no doubt on the mind of Gideon that a heavenly messenger was before him.”

Gideon then built an altar to God and worshiped God

Gideon, of the tribe of Manasseh, was chosen by God to free the people of Israel and condemn the idolatry they enjoyed.

In Judges 6:12, “And the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him, and said unto him, Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.”

Gideon ask in simple terms, “if you’re with us why has this happened?”

Jehovah said, “I will be with thee. Go and save Israel”.

Many came to serve…

Gideon made a sacrifice before the Lord and when he realized he’d seen the face of Jehovah he built an altar.

The Bible History Old Testament commentary says, “It is when “the strong warrior” is at the lowest, that the Messenger of the Covenant suddenly appears before him. Not only the brightness of His face and form, but the tone in which He spake, and still more His words, at once struck the deepest chords in Gideon’s heart. “Jehovah with thee, mighty hero!” Then the speaker was one of the few who looked unto Jehovah as the help-giver; and he expressed alike belief and trust!”

…but God had him break it down to only a select 300

Gideon destroyed the town’s altar to Baal and other altars. When Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal, his father, Joash, ” on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal contend against him, because he hath broken down his altar.” {Joshua 6:32}

Gideon was also known as Jerubbaal, which according to Strong’s Concordance means “Baal will contend”.

Our commentary goes on to say,”One altar was destroyed, but another had to be raised. For, the altar of Jehovah could not be reared till that of Baal had been cast down. It was now built, and that not in some secret hiding-place, but on “the top of this defense”—either on the top of the hill on which the fort stood, or perhaps above the place where the people were wont to seek shelter from the

Gideon told his men they were in the battle for the Lord


Gideon called for all of the men to come to fight as he prepared for battle. But, while they were at camp, God told him that he had too many. So Gideon told all those afraid or wanted to leave to go home and 22,000 men returned home. But, 10,000 remained. God again told him this was too many.

So God said, “So he brought down the people unto the water: and Jehovah said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.”

The men prepared for battle

{Joshua 7:5}

Three hundred men remained. Can you imagine the questions Gideon must have asked as he went from over 30,000 men to only 10% that amount? “Still, Gideon must have been surprised, when, in consequence, he found himself left with only 10,000 men. But even these were too many. To “purify them”.” God used the process to purify the men.

The spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon


Our Bible History Old Testament commentary explains, “If we ask about the rationale of this means of distinction, we conclude, of course, that it indicated the bravest and most ardent warriors, who would not stoop to kneel, but hastily quenched their thirst out of the hollow of their hands, in order to hasten to battle. But Jewish tradition assigns another and deeper meaning to it. It declares that the practice of kneeling was characteristic of the service of Baal, and hence that kneeling down to drink when exhausted betrayed the habit of idolaters. Thus the three hundred would represent those in the host of Israel—”all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal”.

Gideon was a leader to his men

The 300 marched and blew their horns, stimulating an attack by a larger force. The Midianite army fled away. Gideon sent messengers to the other tribes to pursue the Midianites and their leaders. Gideon captured the kings and killed them.

The Israelites encouraged Gideon to become their king, but he refused and told them that God was their ruler. “And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: Jehovah shall rule over you. ” {Joshua 8:23}

Gideon saw peace for another 40 years in his life time. He made an ephod out of gold

Gideon and his men won the battle

{which later caused trouble}, took many wives and concubines and had 70 sons, before dying. After his death, the Israelites rebelled again.

So, what can be learn from Gideon?

1. Gideon was chosen by God

2. Gideon saw God face to face

3. Gideon was tested by God

4. Gideon had a heart for God

5. Gideon fought for God

After winning the battle, Gideon praised God

6. Gideon worshipped God

7. Gideon believed in God’s power

Gideon became a leader for God and this is why he is listed in the Hall of Faith. He allowed himself to be broken and tested and in return God made him a great leader. Because of Gideon’s faith, God was able to show up and show his power.

How do you lead for God?

Pictures courtesy of FreeBibleImages.org

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