Christian Resource Centre


| Author: Dele Oke

Gideon - lessons for today

Introduction and background
An appreciation of the era in which Gideon lived helps shed light on the kind of person we are dealing with.

By the time of Joshua?s death the tribes of Israel had settled into their allocated land. The people of Israel owned all the land, but did not possess it all and therefore could not enjoy it all. There was no overall leader and the people soon resorted to doing what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). A period of deserting God and worshipping the idols of the land followed (Judges 3:7-8; 4:1-4; 6:1; 10:6-7; 13:1).

Deuteronomy 6 outlines the basic responsibilities Israel were expected to follow in the land. They were:

1. Love and obey the LORD (v1-5).
2. Teach your children to follow God?s way (v6-9).
3. Be thankful for God?s blessings (v10-15).
4. Do not worship the pagan gods (v16-25).

In refusing to follow their basic responsibilities the children of Israel found themselves falling into sin, preceded inevitably by servitude under the heathen nations. This stirred them to give supplications to God for deliverance, which resulted in their salvation via a judge sent by God. A period of silence then ensued as they enjoyed freedom. Unfortunately, prolonged freedom lured Israel back to sin and the whole cycle started again.

It was during an era of servitude under the Midians that Gideon became a judge (Judges 6). The Judges fulfilled a military leadership role, although most of them also had political and spiritual functions.

Gideon - lessons for contemporary Christians

Foundation - the shaping of his person

Gideon - a product of his time

Gideon - availability was his asset, no spiritual giant here.

Gideon - Getting to know the man

Gideon - If failure seemed bad, success was worse

Things to reflect on

Questions for reflection

  1. What is the danger of doing what is right in our own eyes?

  2. What lesson does Deuteronomy 6 hold for us today?

  3. How can we discern the level of influence the circumstances around us are having on our lifestyle and faith?

  4. Who does God consider a ?mighty person?? Explain.

  5. How can we prepare to handle success?

  6. What other lessons can you glean from the life of Gideon?