I got caught up over the understanding of Christianity yesterday and didn’t share on chapter 8 of Judges. What I saw. So I will post both chapters 8 and 9. Chapter 8 is a bit longer, 9 is short.
In chapter 6 as recap, Gideon was told to take on the Midianites. Even he doubted.
Chapter 7 continues. Gideon had amassed 22,000 men willing to go into battle. God said, cut that amount to 300… against a huge military might of the Midianites– those who stopped at the stream to drink first. God ‘sifted them,’ I suspect by faith in God vs. their own arrogance. Hmm. Us? Our church leaders?
So, this small band (needed Living Water… ) and on their own were small and weak (reminds me of those in Philadelphia, the city near the modern city of Manisa in Turkey mentioned in Revelation, also called the ‘seat of Satan,’ in chapter three).
The Israelites were surrounded by evil, evil people, cruel and brutal (the same people in Genesis who sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt). The numbers were so great they were unable to count them. God gave one man a dream that Israel was about a loaf of barely. Barley was considered the inferior grain.
When he told Gideon, this encouraged him, again like in Revelation to the church of Philadelphia. Gideon separated the 300 into 3 companies with empty jars they smashed (breaking chains of evil?).
At the sound of the jars being destroyed and the trumpet (shofar), God’s very presence threw the Midianites into complete confusion and then they turned on themselves, killing one another. This original army was 135,000 give or take. The remainder of these invaders dropped to 22,000.
Many, but not all believers joined, encouraged. They captured the evil leaders of the Midianites and too the to the rock (? um… Jesus typology?), killed them (Jesus’ death on the cross, nailing sin/evil to that cross?) and brought the heads (yuck) back as a sign to the Israelites as God’s victory over demonic forces.
The weak are only strong in God. This is reiterated throughout the Tanakh and the New Testament. “The victory is the LORD’s,” “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty… and ”And He said to me, “My grace suffices you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” ‘Therefore will I boast rather most gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’
Now, in chapter 8, like the time of Jesus, Jews at that time refused to 1. give help to Gideon and 2. did not recognize God as royalty with the wealth and riches of the kingdom to come and freedom, as did the Gentiles. Gideon pronounced the final judgement for those who rejected God and returned to idol worship– with their death. Sad. But historical.