Gideon: "The Mighty Man of Valour."

Judges 6‑8  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 11
(Judges 6, 7, 8)
WHEN the people of Israel were in trouble, on account of their many enemies, God raised up first one man, and then another, to help them. God never forgets His promises, and He had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to take care of, and to defend, their children and their children’s children. The men who were thus chosen to serve the Lord God, and to fight for His people, were not all of one family, but taken out, or called out, from different tribes, and they were spoken of as being judges, deliverers, or saviours.
When the children of Israel cried to the Lord their prayer was heard, and He raised up a deliverer: in the margin the word is saviour. This was Othniel, who delivered them out of the hand of their enemies. Soon they were in trouble again, but again cried to the Lord, and He raised up Ehud, who also delivered them. There were thus many judges, deliverers, or saviours: but they were mere men, who could only help for a little time, while the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of the world, saves with an eternal salvation, and not only saves the body, but the soul. Othniel and others saved the bodies of the children of Israel from their human enemies, but our Saviour saves from a more powerful foe, and that for ever.
Gideon’s father’s name was Joash. He does not appear to have been a rich man, but, whether poor or rich, it was a great honor for his son Gideon to be chosen of the Lord to serve Him. Gideon was busy threshing wheat, in order to hide it from their enemies, when an angel of the Lord came and spoke to him. God had sent the angel with the message, and the words must have made Gideon wonder and feel very pleased. These were the words— “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour,” just as if he had said, “The Lord is with thee, thou very brave man.” It must have been a cheer to the heart of Gideon to be looked upon as a “man of valour,” but the best of all was that the Lord was with him. Yet Gideon at once began to reason, doubt, and question, even saying, “Oh, my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? but now the Lord hath forsaken us”: and “Oh, my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
All this took place a very long while ago, but sometimes in these days, when Christian people have to pass through heavy trials, they are tempted to think that God has forgotten to be gracious: and yet He has said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” and those who know that God gave His Son to die on the cross for their sins ought to trust Him, and believe that “all things work together for their good.”
Then the Lord looked upon Gideon, and said, “Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites; have not I sent thee?” What noble words! what power there is in them! Better to be sent with a message from God Himself than on an errand from the grandest king of this world, who wears a crown of jewels or of gold, and who sits on a splendid throne Better far to be thus employed by the King of kings and Lord of lords than by the richest earthly monarch!