Notes: June 15, 2008 – Judges 7 & 8

Gideon’s Success and Failure

In today’s reading from the English Bible we learn about Gideon’s great victory with a small army, and about Gideon’s great sin and a large family.

  • Many are called, but few are chosen (7:1-8)
  • Encouraged by someone else’s dream (7:9-15)
  • This little light of mine (7:16-22)
  • Asking others to (re)join the fight (7:23-25)
  • Offended by not being invited earlier (8:1-3)
  • Faint, yet pursuing; and none would help (8:4-17)
  • An eye for an eye (8:18-21)
  • The dangers of early retirement (8:22-28)
  • Gideon-gone and forgotten; and Gideon’s God forgotten, too (8:29-35)

Meditation Points:

  1. “lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.” (Judges 7:2). We do (sometimes) take credit for what God has done; and we shouldn’t.
  2. 22,000 to 10,000 to 300. Imagine what they said back at denominational headquarters when this report came in.
  3. “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon” (Judges 7:18-20). Let your light so shine that others may see and be confounded in the midst of the darkness.
  4. The smaller force gave way to a much larger Israelite attack on the Midianites.
  5. Have you ever been upset because you weren’t invited to fight for the Lord (Judges 8:1)?
  6. In the battle between good and evil there is no neutrality; if you are not for God, then you are against Him.
  7. The people wanted to establish Gideon and his posterity as king (Judges 8:22). Gideon refused the honor and authority, commending the people to the divine King.
  8. But Gideon did accept an honorarium which he misused in establishing public idolatry (Judges 8:27). Can you believe it?
  9. Is it any wonder that his influence died with him, and Israel quickly fell again into Baal worship (Judges 8:33). Will your testimony for good outlive you?