Thursday, September 1, 2011
September 1 -- Feast of Gideon the Judge
For Israel, the picture was not a pretty one,
They were under the thumb of Midian,
But their sins they repented,
And the Good Lord relented,
And sent them a champion named Gideon.
In Judges 6-8, the story of Gideon's effort to deliver Israel from the control of the Midianites is related. Israel had fallen out of the Lord's favor because they had begun making offerings to their neighbors' idols as well as to their own God. But eventually, when they had suffered enough, God chose Gideon to be a deliverer. Gideon put God to a couple of tests (he's one of the lucky guys who gets away with that) and then leads troops in an attack. He and his soldiers blow their shofars (trumpets) to alarm the enemy -- the fear thing, like carrying branches from Birnam Wood to Dunsinane.
After the rout of the Midianites, the Israelites ask Gideon to be their king. They were hankering for a king even back then (see Samuel). He wisely declined, saying that only God was king and his job was just to interpret God's law. He still lived large, though, having 71 kids by a harem of wives and concubines.
Israel lived in righteousness all Gideon's days, but when he died they resumed their polytheistic idolatry and ignored Gideon's family.
Posted by Tom Major at 4:00 AM