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The Lord Is with You 

Do the mighty struggle with fear and doubt?

Judges 6

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • December 15, In the year of our Lord, 2013



  1. Daniel was a hero from the beginning, 
    1. who did not need transformation, but
    2. merely a way to show his heroism.
  2. Gideon was not a hero from the beginning. 
    1. However, the Lord saw something in him, which
    2. needed development and a way to show it.
  3. Many heroes in the Bible did not think they could do what God wanted. 
    1. They gave excuses,
    2. concentrating on their deficiencies.
      1. However, they eventually took a step forward by faith,
      2. not in self, but
        1. in God, and
        2. wonderful things happened.


  1. Judges 6.1–6 – Israel Sinned 
    1. The story begins on a sad note,

      1 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, 2 and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains (Jdg 6.1b–2).

      1. Israel left many nations in the land whom the Lord used to punish Israel:
        1. Mesopotamia from whom Othniel delivered Israel;
        2. the Moabites from whom Ehud gave deliverance;
        3. the Philistines from whom Shamgar freed Israel;
        4. the Canaanites against whom Deborah and Barak fought; and
        5. here it was the Midianites,
      2. who so prevailed over Israel that they made hiding places.
    2. See how the Midianites prevailed over Israel,

      3 So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4 Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it (Jdg 6.3–5).

    3. Finally, Israel cried out to the Lord,

      6 So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD (Jdg 6.6).

      1. A new generation learned from its sin.
      2. Why did Israel not cry out to the gods to whom they had turned?
  2. Judges 6.7–10 – A Prophet Before a Judge 
    1. The Lord heard their cry and did something first before delivering them,

      7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the LORD because of the Midianites, 8a that the LORD sent a prophet to the children of Israel (Jdg 6.7–8a).

      1. God wanted to help His people, but
      2. He wanted them to know why they got into trouble.
    2. Therefore, before He sent another judge, they needed to hear a prophet,

      8b who said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel. ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage; 9 and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 Also I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed My voice’” (Jdg 6.8b–10).

      1. Israel, you need to know this comes from the Lord;
      2. you need to remember your deliverance from Egyptian bondage;
      3. you need to remember your freedom from oppression in Canaan;
      4. you need to remember that Yahweh is your God;
      5. you must not fear the gods of your neighbors; and
      6. you have not obeyed God’s voice.
  3. Judges 6.11–21 – The Lord Is with You 
    1. God dispatched the Angel of the Lord to the next judge,

      11 Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites (Jdg 6.11).

      1. Gideon was a mighty man of valor with fear and doubt.

        “While brave people often experience fear; fearful people rarely experience bravery” (Mardy Grothe).

      2. Here is how we know Gideon feared,

        “This incident tells emphatically the tale of public distress. The small quantity of grain he was threshing, indicated by his using a flail instead of the customary treading of cattle—the unusual place, near a wine-press, under a tree, and on the bare ground, not a wooden floor, for the prevention of noise—all these circumstances reveal the extreme dread in which the people were living” (Jamieson).

    2. The Lord saw something in Gideon that he did not see in himself,

      12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Jdg 6.12).

      1. Gideon lived in obscurity, but
      2. the Lord saw him.
    3. Gideon wanted to know how the Lord was with them,

      13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites” (Jdg 6.13).

      1. He says “lord,” which is different from the all-caps LORD and
      2. different from the first-letter-capitalized Lord in verse 15.
        1. All-lower-case lord refers to man.
        2. All-upper-case LORD refers to God’s name Yahweh or Jehovah.
        3. First-letter-capitalized Lord refers to God.
      3. Something happened between verses 13 and 15 to make Gideon change.
        1. The Angel spoke to Gideon, saying that he was a mighty man of valor.
        2. Gideon wanted to know then why Israel suffered.
          1. Gideon was a humble man and
          2. did not focus on himself.
    4. Sometimes we suffer through our own sin, as with Israel in Judges 6.
      1. Sometimes we suffer through someone else’s sin as Gideon did.
      2. Sometimes we suffer because we live in a sin-cursed world.
    5. While Gideon did not understand somethings about God,
      1. Gideon did believe in God.
      2. Much of Israel may have been idolaters, and
        1. Gideon may have had a flawed understanding of God, but
        2. Gideon followed the Lord.
          1. He had heard things about God and
          2. believed those things.
    6. Gideon still did not understand,

      14 Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” 15 So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (Jdg 6.14–15).

      1. Gideon changed his language
        1. from using “lord” as addressed to men
        2. to using “Lord” as addressed to God.
      2. Gideon did not receive answers to his questions, nor
        1. did the Lord refute the idea that God had forsaken Israel.
        2. Instead, the Lord commanded Gideon to do a job.
          1. Job had questions for God, and
          2. God did not answer any of Job’s questions.
            1. He ignored Job’s challenges,
            2. assuring Job that God is in control.
        3. That was answer given to Gideon.
          1. God is in control.
          2. Just do as you are told.
        4. We like to analyze and argue over God’s commands, but
          1. He just wants to see if we are going to do what He says.
          2. He wants to see whether we trust Him or not,

            29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law (Deu 29.29).

    7. Gideon did not know how he could save Israel since
      1. his family was the weakest and
      2. he was the least in his father’s house.
      3. Gideon was a mighty man of valor and a humble man,

        “Timid men are humble; but humble men need not be timid” (The Expositor’s Dictionary of Texts).

    8. Did the Lord make Gideon feel better about himself or Someone else?

      16 And the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man” (Jdg 6.16).

      1. Back in verse 12, the Angel told Gideon that God was with Gideon.
      2. Then in verse 14, God spoke to Gideon telling him to go in his might.
      3. In verse 15, Gideon questioned his ability.
      4. In verse 16, God assured Gideon that he would have success, because
        1. God would be with Gideon.
        2. Gideon, concentrate on God’s leadership.
    9. The question is not who am I as a man, but who is God?

      17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. 18 Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.” And He said, “I will wait until you come back.” 19 So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. 20 The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. 21 Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the LORD departed out of his sight (Jdg 6.17–21).

      1. The Midianites had impoverished Israel.
      2. Yet, what little Gideon had,
        1. like the poor widow with two mites,
        2. he offered as a sacrifice.
  4. Judges 6.22, 23 – Gideon’s Perception Increased 
    1. Then Gideon knew to whom he had been speaking,

      22 Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face” (Jdg 6.22).

      1. Gideon experienced a close encounter with God,
      2. making him think he would die,

        “In verse 13, Gideon was afraid because he didn’t see the hand of the Lord. Here in verse 22, he’s terrified because he did…” (Courson).

    2. The Lord reassured Gideon,

      23 Then the LORD said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die” (Jdg 6.23).

  5. Judges 6.24 – Gideon Worshiped

    24 So Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it The-LORD-Is-Peace. {Hebrew YHWH Shalom} To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites (Jdg 6.24).

    1. Gideon saw that God did not intend harm for him or Israel.
  6. Judges 6.25–32 – Time to Act 
    1. It was time to go to work,

      25 Now it came to pass the same night that the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the LORD your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down” (Jdg 5.25–26).

      1. This altar showed who is truly God.
      2. Gideon was a strong believer in God, but
        1. but his own father was not a believer.
        2. He was an idolater!
    2. The courage of Gideon grew, but it was not perfected yet,

      27 So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the LORD had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night. 28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, there was the altar of Baal, torn down; and the wooden image that was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was being offered on the altar which had been built. 29 So they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And when they had inquired and asked, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing” (Jdg 6.27–29).

      1. Gideon was a mighty man of valor with fears.
      2. He did something life-threatening in the safest way possible.
    3. Amazingly, these Israelite men defended Baal.

      30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has torn down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the wooden image that was beside it” (Jdg 6.30).

    4. Joash’s loyalty to his son outweighed his loyalty to Baal,

      31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Would you plead for Baal? Would you save him? Let the one who would plead for him be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead for himself, because his altar has been torn down!” 32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, {Literally Let Baal Plead} saying, “Let Baal plead against him, because he has torn down his altar” (Jdg 6.31–32).

  7. Judges 6.33–35 – The Battle Approached 
    1. An occasion for fear,

      33 Then all the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the East, gathered together; and they crossed over and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel (Jdg 6.33).

      1. Men lined up in the valley of Jezreel,
      2. not far from where Barak defeated Sisera.
    2. Gideon moved into action,

      34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him (Jdg 6.34).

      1. Watch out when a man marches in the Spirit of the Lord!
      2. The opposing army will have no chance.

        17 “No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
        And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
        You shall condemn.
        This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
        And their righteousness is from Me,”
        Says the LORD.
        (Isa 54.17)

    3. Gideon’s courage increased the courage of Israel,

      35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them (Jdg 6.35).

      1. Zebulun and Naphtali proved themselves during the campaign of Barak.
      2. Asher has learned.
      3. Later, the narrative shows that 32,000 gathered to Gideon!
  8. Judges 6.36–40 – Gideon Needed More Assurance from God

    36 So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said— 37 look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more. Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground (Jdg 6.36–40).

    1. Gideon knew that only the Creator of the weather can do such a thing.
    2. If God could do this, He could help Gideon defeat the Midianites.


  1. Look at your thinking, because God does. 
    1. Look at your life, because God does.
    2. Look at your self and God.
  2. If God can help Israel and the judges, 
    1. He can help you.
    2. Do you need to repent as Israel did?
  3. The Lord Jesus Christ is with you. 
    1. What more do you need?
    2. Who shall prevail against you?
    3. You have the Sword of the Spirit.