Midianites conquer for 7 years, and Israel tries to hide their produce. A prophet rebukes Israel for their disobedience. An angel calls Gideon to lead a resistance army. Gideon is very doubtful, but he offers the sacrifice the angels directs and it bursts into flame. The angel says to pull down his father's Baal and Asherah idols (!). Gideon does it at night because he is afraid. When the town sees it and wants to kill him, his father stands up for him. He gathers Israel to fight and puts out the fleece two nights in a row for a sign from God that he is doing the right thing.
How this is about Jesus
He faced timid Israelite leaders and foreign oppressors in His day, too.
He got a mixed response from Israel to His leadership, like Deborah and Barak.
When He cleansed the temple (pulled down the idols), the leaders got mad.
He did NOT test God by demanding signs.
- Courage and faith is the ongoing theme. Barak and Gideon both lacked it, yet God worked through them to save Israel, anyway. Don't underestimate how much courage it took for their tasks. Barak had to assemble an army against a stronger force with superior technology. Gideon had to take down the idols in the public square that everyone loved. THEN assemble an army against a superior force.
- Yet Gideon should have had more faith than to test God repeatedly with the fleece. This is NOT a pattern for us to follow - Gideon had God's Word saying NOT to test God (Deuteronomy 6:16). When God says He is with us, we may not think up some extra test to confirm "Is God with us or not?" (Exodus 17:7).