We’re reading through Judges at Oak Tree Church, and I’m posting some observations from my daily readings here within a day or two after the reading. I’d love for you to join in the discussion.
Thoughts on Judges 6
Some of my observations in this chapter revolve around the identity of “the LORD’s angelic messenger” or “the angel of the LORD” again because it is fascinating to see God’s Son at work in this world, long before he became “Jesus”.
Gideon said to him, “Pardon me, but if the LORD is with us, why has such disaster overtaken us? Where are all his miraculous deeds our ancestors told us about? They said, ‘Did the LORD not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.” Judges 6:13 NET
This is a valid question – “Where is God?”. The answer for Israel at this time was simply this: “God didn’t move; you left him.”
Gideon’s second question is similar to Habakkuk’s (3:2) – “What happened to the God who did all of the cool stuff from the old stories? I want to see that power again today.”
Then the LORD himself turned to him and said, “You have the strength. Deliver Israel from the power of the Midianites! Have I not sent you?” Gideon said to him, “But Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Just look! My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my family.” The LORD said to him, “Ah, but I will be with you! You will strike down the whole Midianite army.” Gideon said to him, “If you really are pleased with me, then give me a sign as proof that it is really you speaking with me. Do not leave this place until I come back with a gift and present it to you.” The LORD said, “I will stay here until you come back.” Judges 6:14-18 NET
This seems to me to be a very clear reference that “the angel of the LORD” is “the LORD himself” (the Hebrew simply says, “the LORD said”). It seems that Gideon is still carrying on the conversation with the messenger from the preceding verses, but we are clued in on the fact that he is actually God himself – a pre-Jesus appearance of the Son of God.
When Gideon realized that it was the LORD’s messenger, he said, “Oh no! Master, LORD! I have seen the LORD’s messenger face to face!” The LORD said to him, “You are safe! Do not be afraid! You are not going to die!” Gideon built an altar for the LORD there, and named it “The LORD is on friendly terms with me.” To this day it is still there in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. Judges 6:22-24 NET
It’s obvious that Gideon knew that “the LORD’s messenger” was not an ordinary angel, or he wouldn’t have been afraid for his life because he saw him. He realized he had just had a personal encounter with God.
What did you see in these verses? What was important to you in Judges 6 that I did not see?