Called to Be a Champion

KEY VERSE: “The angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.” —Judges 6:12

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Judges 6:3-6, 11-16; 7:20, 21

THE lesson today concerns a judge whom the Lord called to deliver the nation of Israel from their oppressors, the Midianites. Because the nation of Israel had been disobedient, the Lord had permitted the Midianites to conquer them and to sorely oppress them, but again the Lord heard their cry and appointed a judge to deliver them. This judge was Gideon. He was a modest man and apparently was honest of heart so that the Lord could deal with him. He had no special training for the task the Lord had for him to do, but after some assurance, he, by faith, relied fully on the overruling providences of the Lord.

When the angel of the Lord first appeared to him, Gideon wanted to be sure to whom he was speaking, so he asked the angel to wait while he prepared a meal. When the meal was set before the angel, he consumed it by fire, touching it with the staff that was in his hand. This miracle convinced Gideon that it was an angel that had appeared unto him. The first instructions to Gideon were to destroy the altar of Baal where his father worshiped, and to cut down the grove that was by it. In its place he was to erect an altar to the Lord and offer a sacrifice upon it. This caused a confrontation with the Midianites, who demanded that Gideon be delivered to them to be slain. But Gideon’s father challenged them to have Baal plead his own case, which of course resulted in the freeing of Gideon, since Baal was not able to respond.

Gideon desired a further assurance that the Lord was with him in this unprecedented and seemingly hopeless undertaking of liberating the children of Israel from the host of Midian, so he requested another sign. He placed a fleece on the grass overnight and asked that the Lord keep the fleece dry and the grass around it be wet with dew. This the Lord did. Then Gideon asked that the reverse be done, that is, that the fleece be wet with dew and the grass dry. This too was done by the Lord. Gideon, now satisfied that God was with him, was ready to follow implicitly his instructions.

The men of Israel gathered together in support of Gideon, but the Lord told him that there were too many, and so all who were fearful were instructed to return to their homes. Even after this, the Lord said there were too many, and he reduced Gideon’s army to three hundred. This, said the Lord, “lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.” (Judg. 7:2) Following the Lord’s instructions, Gideon “divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.” (vs. 16) The men were to surround the camp of Midian at night; then, at the signal from Gideon, they were to break their pitchers and blow the trumpets, and cry, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” (vs. 18) Confusion seized the enemy camp. The invaders began to flee, and God began to set the sword of each one against the other in all the camp and they destroyed and defeated themselves.

The Lord had in mind a glorious victory, but it was to be achieved by his might and power alone. The honor due to the human instruments who were privileged to share in it was not to be in their skill and strength in battle, but in their faith in God, and in their zeal in obeying his orders, as an evidence of their strength of faith and confidence in him.

This experience of Israel’s has a further spiritual application to those who are endeavoring to walk in the footsteps of Jesus during the Gospel Age. Our captain, the Lord, has given special instructions to those he will specially use in the conflict against evil now in progress. Each one is to follow the example of the captain of our salvation. First, he shall blow upon the trumpet, representing the proclamation of the truth, and proclaim that the sword of the Spirit of truth is of God; and, secondly, we must break the pitchers and let our light shine out. The pitchers represent our earthly vessels and the breaking of them represents our consecration even unto death to do the Lord’s will. The result will be victory over the evil one, and we will be privileged to share with our Lord the glory of victory in the kingdom.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |