The Shock of Gideon’s Turn

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Reading the Gideon cycle in Judges we find ourselves at an unexpected turn after his victory in war. Rather than the hero we are led to expect who transcends his fearfulness and forges forward in trust, we find instead a normal person.

Maybe, a person more like ourselves than we are willing to admit.

What catches us off guard is how quickly Gideon forgets his Yahweh ordained purpose. God did not call on him to destroy parts of Pineil or administer the whipping that the men of Succoth endured; he performed both of these actions out of his own desire for revenge. The Israelites will respond in much the same way as we turn the page. Rather than turning to the Lord in their desire for leadership, they cry out for Gideon to lead them as their ruler. Is there hope for Gideon?

We can benefit today by meditating on the words of a later leader.

Psalm 3

O Lord, how many are my foes!

How many rise up against me!

Many are saying of me,

“God will not deliver him.” Selah

But you are a shield around me, O Lord;

you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

To the Lord I cry aloud,

and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah

I lie down and sleep;

I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

I will not fear the tens of thousands

drawn up against me on every side.

Arise, O Lord!

Deliver me, O my God!

Strike all my enemies on the jaw;

break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.

May your blessing be on your people.

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