Judges 6:11-14 says, “And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?”

The calling of Gideon is both unique and encouraging. Here in this portion is the first time we read of Gideon. And what do we find him doing? He “threshed wheat by the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.” He was afraid that the Midianites would take his wheat away from him, so he did his work in a secret place. Yet, the angel of the Lord called Gideon a “might man of valour.” The Lord could see what no other man could see. He could see in Gideon something that Gideon himself could not see.

The words of the angel seemed to mock Gideon. The angel said, “The LORD is with thee.” Gideon’s response was one of despair. If the Lord was with them, why were they going through such sorrowful times? Where was the victory? Where were the miracles the Lord had done among His people in the past? He had miraculously delivered the Israelites out of the hands of the Egyptians, but now it seems the Lord had forsaken His people. Yet, even in his words despair, Gideon recognized that it was the Lord who had saved His people from Egypt. It was the Lord’s strength that could have saved them from the Midianites.

In verse 14, it is not now ‘the angel of the Lord’ that speaks, it is the Lord Himself that looks upon and speaks to Gideon. What does He mean when He tells Gideon to “go in this thy might?” Gideon’s might was now the strength of the Lord for “the Lord is with thee.” Gideon goes from that place with the promise of the Lord, “thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?”

The history of Gideon is fascinating. I encourage you to read Judges 6-8 to read it. We read in it how the Lord gave complete victory and deliverance to Israel through Gideon. Sorrowfully, we read in Judges 8:32-34, “And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side.” How sad it is that after the death of their leader, the people of Israel turned against the Lord and “remembered not the LORD their God.”

Gideon is mentioned in Faith’s Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11:32-35, “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of GEDEON (Gideon), and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” He was a timid and poor man who had no great background in himself or in his family, yet he was used mightily of the Lord for the benefit of His people. Perhaps the Lord will call you to do great things for Him. If so, He will be with you! (285.6)