6.1-2 Midian. The nation know as Midian was a descendant of Abraham and Keturah. This people had been sent away to the east so Issac would have the land without strife. Joseph was sold by merchants from Midian. Moses fled to the land of Midian and married Zipporah. Midian joined Moab and Ammon to impede the progress of Israel to the promised land. Midianites were known as traders and usually associated with the Ishmaelites.

6.3-10 Midian came to destroy the crops of Israel. There is no indication if there was warfare as well. The Midianites did not steal the crops, they simply destroyed them to starve Israel.

6.11-27 Gideon (central region) This is one of the best known characters of the scriptures. The script provides plot, counter plot and entertainment. Israel had been impoverished for 7 years. An angel appears to Gideon and deems him a mighty man of valour. The reposte here is classic God verses man. This ageless dialog has been argued for millenniums. God always patiently wades through men’s objections and denials. Gideon takes this classic dialog one step further and requires proof. God could easily have jettisoned Gideon at this point and chose another, but as He has with many others, God is patient with man’s unbelief. Gideon is put to the test of obedience. He is told to destroy his father’s altar built to Baal. Out of fear, Gideon prefers to do the deed under cover of darkness. He repeats this tendency to operate under the cover of darkness when he fights the army of Midian.

6.28-35 By destroying the altar of Baal, the men fear the loss of what few crops are left that have not been destroyed by Midian. Baal was the weather God and they needed rain. When Gideon is charged he faces being executed. This is no small crime for their families were starving. Gideon’s father defends his son and challenges them to let the God Baal defend himself. They bestow upon Gideon the name of Jerbubaal, which means Baal will contend. Midian and Amalek gather in the valley of Jezreel to rape the country of Israel once again. The stage is being set for one of the most dramatic events in the Bible.

6.36-40 the fleece. This is also one of the most well known moments of the Bible. People today still call a test they place before God a fleece, meaning they want God to confirm which direction they should go, or what decision is the one God wants. Gideon is unique in that he places the test and then after God answers, he reverses the test and asks again. The patience of God is amazing, God shows no recrimination toward Gideon.

Thanks for reading today….