Gideon (6:1-8:32)

Study notes  2019
Tags: Gideon; Judges 6:1-8:32; Israel; Spiritual life; Midian; Baal
Excerpted from Profiles of the Judges

Description of Spiritual Failure
“The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord …” (6:1).
Nation(s) Oppressing Israel Midian, Amalek, and the people of the East (6:3; 6:33; 7:12); the coalition is simply referred to as Midian throughout the narrative
Nature of Foreign Oppression Attacks in massive numbers with an emphasis on plundering Israel’s food sources, both animal and vegetable (6:2-5; 6:11)
Length of Foreign Oppression 7 years (6:1)
Cry for Deliverance “the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord” (6:6; cf. 6:7)
Provenance of Judge Of the tribe of Manasseh (6:15)
Special Notes Gideon was also known as Jerubbaal (e.g., 6:32; 7:1).

Liberation from Midian’s oppression was not achieved merely by desperate calls to the Lord. Rather, it necessitated spiritual renewal, thus an unnamed prophet arrived on the scene before Gideon’s emergence as a deliverer (6:7-10).

The narrative of Gideon’s ministry repeatedly shows that he was reluctant to exert himself as a spiritual or military leader. The Lord patiently provided the assurances needed to bolster his faith and spur him to action.

Although Gideon was used to defeat Midian in a mighty way, he neglected to lead Israel faithfully. He exacted cruel revenge on towns that had refused to aid his military actions (8:4-9, 15-17), made a golden object that elicited idolatry in Israel (8:24-27), and accumulated numerous wives and at least one concubine (8:30-31). After he died, the nation fell back into the worship of Baal (8:33-34) and violence and ambition erupted in his family (9:1-5).
Length of Judge’s Service 40 years (8:28ff.)
Duration of Peace 40 years (8:28)