Sunday School Lesson June 11, 2017 Gideon’s Call
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Time: 1191 B.C. Place: Ophrah
Golden Text: “The angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, the Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour (Judges 6:12).
Because of Israel’s disobedience, the Lord sent the Midianites to oppress his people and judge them for their apostasy. The Midianites came from the land east of the Jordan and southward into the desert regions. For seven years, the Israelites suffered greatly at the hands of the Midianites who came yearly to raid their land and steal their crops. When the Israelites cried out to the Lord for deliverance, He first sent them a prophet to remind them of their disobedience to the God who brought them to this land. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to a man named Gideon. Gideon was to be the judge the Lord would use to deliver His people.
I. A Visit by the Angel of the Lord – Judges 6:11-12, II. An Answer to Doubts – Judges 6:13-14, III. The Persistence of Doubt – Judges 6:15-18
Lesson Outline – A Visit by the Angel of the Lord – Judges 6:11-12
Judges 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. Farmers usually threshed on hilltops so that the wind would blow away the chaff, the useless outer hull of the wheat. But nomadic Midianites had been raiding Israel for seven years, destroying crops and livestock. So Gideon was threshing in a winepress, a series of rock-hewn pits. Somehow his family had managed to raise a crop, and now they were hiding it. While Gideon threshed, he experienced a theophany, a visitation from the pre-incarnate Son of God who was called “The Angel of the Lord”.
Judges 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. The Lord called Gideon a “mighty man of valour”, a description that seemed unfit for a man hiding in a winepress. But God saw potential in Gideon. God saw beyond’s Gideon’s present circumstance to his character and what he could become. The Lord does the same thing with the believer, we may see ourselves as small and insufficient but God looks at us as finish work, what we will become.
Judges 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. Gideon must not have been aware of how Israel had forsaken God and because they had forsaken Him, He forsook them and allowed their enemies to keep them captive until the appointed time for them to be released from their enemy. It’s something to think about when the majority of the time when a person is held captive whether it’s through addiction or whatever that is harmful to them, the person has forsaken God or don’t believe there is a God. God does not allow people, things or objects to place us in bondage unless we have forsaken the laws of God. Gideon didn’t question God’s power, he was questioning His presence. Gideon was perplexed and he wanted to know if Israel’s was God’s people, He should continue to bless them. It was true God had delivered them to the Midianites but He had not abandoned them. Even in today’s time with the chaos, God hasn’t abandoned His people, He’s allowing different events to happen, people in a different position to draw His people to Him. When they began to feel the effects of what’s happening some will turn to God. It is so easy to blame God for hardship rather than taking a self-examination of ourselves to see where we have forsaken God.
Judges 6:14 – And the Lord looked up upon him, and said, Go in this thy might and thou shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? The angel of the Lord did not chastise Gideon for his question, instead, the Lord said He was sending Gideon to rescue Israel’s from Midian. Gideon was to use the strength he had and with the Lord sending him, he had heavenly help. The Lord had chosen Gideon to help set his people from the bondage of the Midianites. Those who the Lord have saved is like Gideon, they are to pray and fast to free their loved ones who Satan has in captivity. When the Lord gives us unction to witness that’s Him sending us to that particular person to witness. When the Lord sends us, He has prepared the persons’ heart to receive the message. When witnessing to people, we need to know when it’s time to witness and who to witness to, and if we waiting on the unction from the Lord our witnessing will be effective.
Judges 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. Gideon’s words objection is reminiscent of the words spoken by Moses and Jeremiah. Gideon is informing the angel of the Lord that his tribe was weak in Manasseh. Gideon was more in tune with their weakness rather than focusing on who was sending him to free his people. Although Gideon was impressed with his visitor, he was not ready to accept his commission. Gideon was focusing on who would follow him since his clan was not known for leadership. Gideon may have been the youngest since he made the statement ” and I am the least” and knowing this he knew no one would follow him. Although Gideon knew he was speaking with a heavenly being, he didn’t comprehend the power of who was sending him, neither did he know he was speaking with the Lord. If we look at ourselves rather than looking to the Lord for help, we will only look at our own insufficiencies but when placing our trust in the Lord, we know we can do all things through him that strengthen us.
Judges 6:16 – And the Lord said unto him, Surely, I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. Again, the Angel of the Lord reassured Gideon that he would be with him. He didn’t want Gideon to fear but to place his trust in the Lord and His strength. That was all he needed to get the assignment done. When the Lord is on our side, we are more than conquerors.
Judges 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. Gideon finally comes to the conclusion he has been given a divine message but he still wanted a confirmation that the Angel was the Lord Himself by asking for a sign. We can look at this two ways, Gideon wanted to see a miracle or he was testing to see if this was really a God-sent angel giving him a message to go and confront the enemy. If this messenger wasn’t from God it could have been detrimental to Gideon and his family. Every voice or vision we see is not from God, we need to know who is giving us instructions whether it’s from God or Satan. An example is, we may have an unction or hear a voice telling us to witness to someone. The first thing we will think, this must be from God if unction or voice is telling me to witness about God; but in reality, it has been a set-up from Satan to witness to an atheist or agnostic who will be verbally abusive and in their heart, they will never accept salvation. Everyone is not going to accept salvation and we need to know the difference between our spirit, Satan, and God’s spirit; because all of them speak.
Judges 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. Gideon recognized that the Angel of the Lord was God’s messenger; the proper response was to bring Him an offering. Gideon asked Him to wait while he prepared the offering. We should be like Gideon and want to give the Lord an offering, we don’t sacrifice animals now, but we can give ourselves as a living sacrifice meaning we have separated ourselves from the world’s actions and desires and willingly submit ourselves to the Word of God. God is our strength in our weakness and His presence is sufficient to meet any challenge. Whatever the task may be God will always give us what we need to get the job done.