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Read Judges 6


The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.

When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”

11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”

And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”

19 Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.

20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”

24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”

27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.

28 In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!

29 They asked each other, “Who did this?”

When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”

30 The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”

31 But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” 32 So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”

33 Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.

36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Go Deeper

In Judges 6, Gideon’s story provides us with assurance of the grace with which God responds to our personal periods of doubt. Let’s look at three examples of doubt and God’s responses.

As the chapter unfolds, we learn that the Midianites are oppressing the Israelites, and God calls Gideon to deliver His people. An angel of the Lord comes to Gideon to summon him for the task, but Gideon responds with self-doubt; his family is not powerful, and he isn’t even the strongest of his siblings. But how does God respond? God doesn’t tell Gideon that these things aren’t true, but that He will be with Gideon. God’s presence is our strength.

The second example of doubt comes from the nation of Israel.  Why does God allow the Midianites to oppress His beloved people?  The Israelites have allowed doubt to keep them from trusting in God’s provision and sovereignty.  They have turned their backs on Him and put their trust in pagan gods. In contrast, Gideon honors God with obedience, destroying the altar of Baal and the Asherah pole, and building an altar for the Lord in its place. When we prayerfully examine our hearts, we will likely find loyalty to other gods as well. Maybe those idols are money, comfort, or social status, but we must follow Gideon’s example. We are called to take those altars down and fill our hearts with worship of the One True God.

In our last example, Gideon doubts God before the battle. Even though God has already promised Gideon that He will be with him and that He will deliver Israel, Gideon still asks God for a sign. The reluctant warrior proceeds to ask God to create very specific conditions that God graciously proceeds to fulfill, giving Gideon the clear green light. It’s easy to chuckle at how hesitant Gideon is in this story, but don’t we do the same thing? How often are we like Gideon, doubting when we know God is calling us to share the Gospel with someone we lack the courage to approach. At these times, we can present our doubts to the Lord and rejoice because His presence is with us; He is Immanuel.


  1. What are some lies you tell yourself, and how can you respond with God’s truth?
  2. What things do you run to for protection instead of God? In other words, what idols do
    you have in your heart?
  3. Is there anything you believe God is calling you to, and who can you ask to pray with you
    about it?

By the Way

God’s calling of Gideon (an unlikely leader) can remind us of other Scriptural passages like 1 Samuel 16, when David is anointed king.

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2 thoughts on “Judges 6”

  1. God uses all sorts of people to do his work, including you and me. He equips those he calls no matter how unlikely they may seem for the task. Gideon questioned God, made excuses, became fearful, and even tested God. Yet that’s exactly who God called to deliver Israel from the wicked Midianites. Gideon must risk his very life to follow God’s mandate. The first obstacle would be removing the much loved idols from his own people, which showed how immoral they had become. He immediately faced criticism from his own people and worse they wanted to put him to death. No wonder Gideon hesitated and asked for signs that God was truly with him. Today the greatest gift of divine guidance to us is God’s complete revealed Word, something Gideon didn’t have. We need to study the Bible and humbly receive the wisdom it contains. “Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus-the great Shepherd of the sheep-with the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with all that is good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21

  2. I have “fleeced” God over and and over, is this really you? I am not the right person for that job, God, someone who is way more qualified than me.?.?. I can’t speak your word to her, she will think I am crazy, and then I will be not with the “in” group. At least when God showed Gideon what He was going to do and how Gideon followed through whereas I failed, then. These days life is a lot different, I might still “fleece” Him but I do listen oh so much quicker and often. Thank you God for your Grace!!!!! If we could just see ourselves (me included) through God’s eyes. I think Ephesians is a good book to do that through. You can take out all the “you’s, we’s, pronouns” and replace your name. It becomes so real and understandable. Ephesians 2:10 For Amy is his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that Amy should walk in them.
    God help us to do what You need and want us to do that is glorifying to You. Help us to see ourselves through Your eyes, as that Daddy who oh so LOVES His children!!!! God thank you for that love, may we today in these next 12 hours be your hands and feet to do what You want us too for Your kingdom here at this time. In Jesus name amen

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