Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gideon, Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday, I was asked to lead a Sunday school class at Annual Conference. This is a series of posts from my notes. The lesson is based on Judges 6: 11-13.

Today's post is our discussion on verses 11-13:

11 Then the Lord’s messenger came and sat under the oak at Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 The Lord’s messenger appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!”
13 But Gideon replied to him, “With all due respect, my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his amazing works that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, ‘Didn’t the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and allowed Midian to overpower us.”

A few things to notice in these verses:

  1. One doesn’t normally thresh wheat in a winepress – you normally would do it outside, but you can imagine the dust that rises when you separate the wheat from the chaff. The cloud of dust would attract the Midianites, who would come and take the crop. So Gideon is hiding out of fear, and also because the wheat is going to provide food for his family – he’s protecting them. But there is no mention that this is an unusual thing for the day – it must have been standard operating procedure for this time of oppression. It gives us a glimpse at how the Israelites were living.
  2. So, imagine how Gideon feels when the messenger appears and calls him a mighty warrior. He probably feels like anything except a warrior, hiding out to thresh the grain.
  3. And then we get a glimpse into Gideon’s mindset – his doubts and frustrations. He has heard about God’s mighty works, and yet he doesn’t see them. Has God abandoned us?

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