For Our Admonition Part 15
“The Raising Up of Gideon”
Key Verses: Jdg 6:11 – 6:27
We continue with the events of Judge Gideon who is being raised up to deliver Israel of the Midianites nations that have invaded and impoverished the land. As we saw in our last study this bondage to and our deliverance from these nations are all parables of our personal and inward battle with our own flesh (Mat 10:36). We are living by every Word (Mat 4:4).
1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
Gideon delivers a mighty deliverance in Israel but before this can take place, Gideon is being prepared to lead the war. We will see more detail on the preparing of Gideon than the other judges of Israel which is instructive to how we are found by the Lord and called up to be judges in our own time within the Kingdom of God (Luk 17:21, 1Co 10:11). After first sending a prophet to prepare the way, a mightier one (Jdg 6:8, Mat 3:11), an angel of the Lord is sent to Gideon.
Jdg 6:11 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
Jdg 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
This angel of the Lord is Jesus Christ who has come to call Gideon (me and you) into His service in delivering Israel through judgment. This preparation takes time as we have to be converted or regenerated first. All these events in Judges being a shadow of the true regeneration to come.
Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Gideon was already searching for the truth of God’s word to feed the hunger and zeal the Lord puts into us all before He actually appears. That is what threshing of wheat speaks of as we labor to find the truth and feed our impoverished spirit. The fact this is done in a winepress reflects the oppression Gideon is feeling as judgment has already come to his house (1Pe 4:17).
Gideon is not yet a mighty man of valor, having not yet done anything of merit to date. Yet a pillar of truth that will get us through challenging times is to see it how the Lord sees things.
Rom 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Meaning of Gideon
Gideon, a Manassite, is found in the city of Ophrah. Ophrah means dusty fawn or a young deer/roe. Being in Ophrah [comes from H6082] is a symbol of our spiritual youth and immaturity when we first meet Christ and the angel comes to us. In this state of “dusty” maturity, we are yet carnal and will be sitting under our own tree. All men are likened to trees in Scriptures and all that come to Christ are being found sitting under their own tree (mindset) serving God in the flesh before we are being converted and given the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16) and submit to the multitude of counselors in the living Christ.
Mic 4:4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.
Mic 4:5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
Christ is the true vine, but we are not being able to sit under Him and abide in Him until our day of visitation, which is the day the angels find us sitting under our own tree.
Gideon means warrior and is derived from the word used to define a feller or a hewer as in trees. Cutting down large trees is exactly what judging Israel does as the old man’s mindset and our idols of our hearts (the wood) is all burned up by the axe and the fire (Pro 26:20). Fellers uses axes and that is what the judges of Jesus Christ are in the day of the Lord within us and in the life of our brethren. It is with Gideon and all the judges of Israel that the Midianites are being destroyed, and peace and rest restored to the Promised Land.
Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Jer 51:20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;
Iron sharpening iron (Pro 27:17) is an axe head sharpening an axe head and that is how we all are being remade and matured in the ways of God.
Gideon is also the son of Joash the Abiezrite. These many levels of information are all relevant and add to our understanding. Joash [H3101] traces back to Jehoash which means a fiery son of God. An Abiezrite [H33] is a descendant of Abiezer [H44] which comes from root words that mean helper or father of help. Righteous judges in Israel back then and today (in the Body of Christ) are warriors, fiery sons of God and helpers/servants of one another.
2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
Meeting the angel of the Lord is a type of Christ being born within us who will deliver Israel of the Midianites.
Isa 9:4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
Isa 9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
All chosen by the Lord are given a new name in Christ (Isa 62:2, Rev 2:17, Rev 3:12). That is the pattern of Scripture including: Saul to Paul, Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter (Cephas), and later as Gideon grows in faith he is known as Jerubbaal after his first conquest. Gideon’s father, Joash, gives him a new name after his first conquest in throwing down the altar of Baal.
Jdg 6:32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.
Let Baal contend is what this means and the significance for us is once anointed and sent by the Lord we will henceforth be contending against Baal and the wicked and carnal world within and without.
We see the immaturity of Gideon immediately manifest in the questions and later the signs Gideon asks which are the same questions and requests we have in our day of Midian.
Jdg 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
Jdg 6:14 And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
Jdg 6:15 And he said unto him, 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.
What is impossible with man is possible with the Lord. First off we can see that Gideon does not yet see the Lord’s hand in all things and in particular the evil oppression that was in Israel. To the young and immature being delivered into the hands of our enemies after being delivered from the bondage of the world (Egypt) and seeing many great signs and wonders does not make sense.
Hab 1:3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
Hab 1:4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
To destroy flesh and our dependency on it, Habakkuk (Hab 2:4) and we are learning to live by faith and that is the purpose of Israel being vexed by our own flesh.
Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Our flesh and carnal lusts are all part of the Lord’s sword/rod (Psa 17:13, Isa 10:5) used against us, our old man and sinful nature to humble us and correct us into obedience by our own innate wickedness (Jer 2:19, Eze 36:27).
2Sa 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
2Sa 12:11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
We can do nothing apart from Christ and being in bondage to our flesh and the Midianites and Moabites within, leads us to call upon the Lord. Hence the Lord is working all things for good, even the evil within us.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The second thing we notice in Gideon’s reaction to the Angel is that he like everyone chosen of the Lord never feels worthy. It is because we are NOT WORTHY of ourselves. We are only worthy by the power and Spirit of Christ that has been freely given to us.
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
The list of witnesses to not feeling worthy is very long with the Patriarchs, many of the prophets and even the first King of Israel.
Exo 4:10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
1Sa 9:21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?
God’s chosen are indeed Jesus Christ but not by themselves. We are only Jesus Christ if we are connected to the Body of Christ, the living church, who has as their Head the Lord. It is through this ONE MAN and ONE MIND that the Midianites are being smitten.
Jdg 6:16 And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
This one man is Jesus Christ. Being knitted (woven) together in love by our trials, the Pro 31 “virtuous woman” that is The Christ is also the one man under the headship of the Lord. That is how the true Israel confronts evil and fights the fight of faith and delivers the land.
Jdg 20:11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.
1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
It is a house divided that shall not stand (Satan and the carnal mind). The mind of Christ is united in ONENESS with the Lord and God, the Father (Eph 2:18).
Having been given the battle objective of smiting the Midianites as one man, Gideon ask for his first sign to bolster his faith and do something to feel worthy of this calling.
Jdg 6:17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.
Jdg 6:18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.
Jdg 6:19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.
Jdg 6:20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.
Jdg 6:21 Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
An immature “yet carnal” mindset (an adulterous and evil generation), one that has not yet been through the baptism by fire, is always asking for a sign to help them believe.
Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The number three signifies the process of our spiritual maturity which comes by fiery trials (1Pe 4:13) and many tribulations (Act 14:22). The only sign given by the Lord is the sign that judgment is now on those of the Household of faith (1Pe 4:17), who are the Temple of the living God (1Co 3:16). The sign of Jonah is being encompassed by our flesh (the Midianites) in similar language to the more familiar Psalm 107.
Jon 2:3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.
Jon 2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.
Jon 2:5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.
Jon 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.
Jon 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.
The Lord takes time to prepare us for service and drag us to Him little by little. The Angel agrees to tarry and wait for Gideon to prepare himself by bringing his own offering. Gideon returns bringing a kid of a goat symbolizing his dedication to the Lord. Kids are to be sacrificed as a sin offering in many parts of the Law including monthly offerings and the feast of Tabernacles.
Num 29:11 One kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering of it, and their drink offerings.
A kid is a young goat, signifying again the trials and baptisms that lie ahead as Gideon and we progress to offering up bullocks and ultimately our whole being as we learn to walk by the law of faith versus the self-righteous law of Moses (the letter). The Lord’s Temple must be consecrated and prepared for service by these offerings. The OT ritual is just a shadow of the New Testament reality that our life must be sacrificed as the second sacrifice for sin (Lev 16).
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your divine service.
The offering is laid upon the Rock which is Christ. That is how the Lord builds His Church (Mat 16:18) and is the foundation the elect lay and build upon by faith.
1Co 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Laying down our lives is the old man being boiled in the broth which is the fiery Word and water of the Word that is sanctifying us. That life is being poured out upon the altar (cross) as we die daily with Christ. Then we can be used of the Lord and His Glory fills the house.
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life.
Gideon’s offering is touched by the rod that is the Word of God and fire which consumes the offering. Thus, we see how sacrificing ourselves is how the old man and carnal mind (the wood) is going to be consumed by the Lord (Heb 12:29). This tarrying for this sacrifice and the bringing of fire upon it is a type and shadow of the NT reality of how we must wait on the Lord to endue us with power before we are sent to do battle.
Luk 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Seeing the fire begin to work in our heavens opens our eyes and we begin to see the spiritual truths of God’s Word. This is a mighty sign of Jonas indeed when we have seen a fire handling and speaking Angel of the Lord (Rev 14:18, Rev 19:10, Jer 5:14).
Jdg 6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.
Jdg 6:23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
Jdg 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
The Angel speaks comfort and peace to Gideon (the new man) similar to these words.
Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Joh 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
This was Gideon’s initial participation in a baptism. There are many steps and progressions of baptisms that are all part of the ONE Baptism (Eph 4:5, Mat 3:11) that is, was and will be saving us in our day of the Lord (Midian).
Mar 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
An altar is where Israel gave gifts and offerings to the Lord. The living sacrifices of the Lord are consecrated (dedicated) before the Lord. Under the law of faith, that altar is none other than the cross of Jesus Christ where we go to die with Him so we can live with Him.
Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
An altar is the place of our gifts and offerings. Gideon is already progressing in faith and as he quickly builds an altar dedicated to the Lord and names it Jehovahalom which means Jehovah is peace. This altar is in Ophrah to this day tells and tells of the importance of establishing peace with God by dedicating ourselves to His Word.
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (The Word)
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
Like Gideon, our offerings and altar building, both progress as we mature in the faith. The ultimate and final altar we are building for the Lord is the cross.
Rev 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held
Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Our sanctification, the cleansing of the Promised Land within, including the purging of the Midianites, is going to require Gideon (and us) to give everything we have.
Heb 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Heb 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Gideon is settled and at peace in this early stage of his spiritual maturity. The Lord immediately tries his faith and sends him to tear down the altars of Baal and build an altar to the Lord in its place. This is the most basic beginnings of spiritual warfare to replace the lies of our hearts with the Truth.
Jdg 6:25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:
Jdg 6:26 And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.
Jdg 6:27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.
Gideon’s first test of faith is to tear down the altars dedicated to Baal and build a new altar on the rock that is Jesus Christ. We will see Gideon’s immaturity again when the time comes to be a doer of the Word. He still feared men and was not yet able to tear down Baal’s altars in the daytime but only in the night. We will Lord willing, pick the story up here next study.
Sincere questions and comments are always welcome. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be pleased to be a helper of your joy (2Co 1:24).