After many years had passed, the Israelites sinned against the Lord and He let the Midianites oppressed them.
The Israelites built for themselves shelters on the mountains.
Whenever the Israelites had sown seeds for their crops, the Midianites will come up and destroy their cops. The Midianites also killed all their livestock.
The Israelites cried out against the Lord and the Lord sent Gideon to deliver them out of the oppressions of the Midianites.
It happened that the angel of God came to sit down a terebinth tree in Ophrah. At that time, Gideon was threshing the wheat in the winepress.
The angel of God said to Gideon, “May God be with you. You are a brave and mighty man.”
Gideon said, “If this is so, then why has all these happened to us?”
Then the Lord turned to Gideon and said, “Go and fight with the Midianites. I will deliver the Midianites into your hand.”
Then God told Gideon to take his father’s young bull, and a seven years old bull and then go to the temple of Baal and cut down the wooden image to make an altar for the Lord.
Gideon did as God commanded him. When morning comes, the people of the city were angry to find the image of Baal was cut down and wanted to kill Gideon.
But Gideon’s father protected him by saying, “If Baal is so powerful, let him come down and revenge on Gideon himself.”
Then Gideon sent message to the tribe of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali to join him in his battle against the Midianites.
Gideon said to God, “If you will deliver Israelites through me, please give a sign of proof. I will put some dry wool on the threshing floor. If the next day I wake up, the wool is wet then I shall know that you are on my side.”
The next morning, Gideon found the fleece of wool on the threshing floor was wet and he squeezed out the water in a bowl.
Gideon decided to test the Lord again.
Gideon said, “Lord, please don’t get angry with me. I will put some wet wool on the threshing floor. If I wake up tomorrow and the wool is dry then I shall know that you will fight on my side.”
The next day, Gideon found there is only dry wool on the threshing floor but there was dew all around the floor.
The Lord said to Gideon, “Your army is too big. Your army must be smaller so that you cannot say that you overcome the Midianites yourself. Now say to the men, ‘Whoever is scared can go home now.'”
So 22,000 men returned to their home and only 10,000 men are left.
But the Lord said to Gideon, “Your army is still too big. Now tell the men to go the river side and drink water. Separate the men who lap the water with their tongue and the men who knelt down to drink water with their hand. I will tell you what to do next.”
Three hundred men lap the water with their tongue and the rest knelt down to drink water with their hand.
The Lord said to Gideon, “Your army should be made up of the three hundred men who lap water with tongue. Now you tell the rest of the men to go back to their home.”
And so Gideon sent the rest of the men who knelt down to drink water home.
That night, the Lord told Gideon, “Get up. Go into the camp of the Amalekites and Midianites and attack them now. If you are still afraid, you can go down into their camp and you will hear what they are saying and be strengthened to fight.”
So Gideon went down into the enemy camp with his servant Purah and they overheard an Amalekites watchmen saying, “Last night I dreamed that a barley loaf came tumbling down from the hill. It hit a tent and fall down.”
The other watchmen replied, “It must be Gideon who will destroy our army because God had delivered us into their hands.”
Then Gideon gave a trumpet, empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers to each of his men and gave them instruction to break the pitchers and shout out aloud “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon” (King James Version. Judges 7:18) when he gives the signal.
Gideon and his men came to the outside of the camp. Gideon gave signal and blew the trumpets and his men gave out a loud shout.
All the people in the enemy’s camp were in confusion. They started to kill each other. That day, the Lord delivered the Amalekites and Midianites into the hands of Gideon and his men.
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