Judges 6:1-16 - Prayer Tents



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Judges 6
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Gideon Becomes Israel’s Judge

6The Israelites did evil in the LORD's sight. So the LORD handed them over to the Midianites for seven years.H1121H3478H6213H7451H5869H3068H3068H5414H3027H4080H7651H81412The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds.H3027H4080H5810H3478H6440H4080H1121H3478H6213H4492H2022H4631H46793Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel,H3478H2232H4080H5927H6002H1121H6924H59274camping in the land and destroying crops as far away as Gaza. They left the Israelites with nothing to eat, taking all the sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys.H2583H7843H2981H776H935H5804H7604H4241H3478H7716H7794H25435These enemy hordes, coming with their livestock and tents, were as thick as locusts; they arrived on droves of camels too numerous to count. And they stayed until the land was stripped bare.H5927H4735H168H935H935H1767H697H7230H1581H4557H935H776H78436So Israel was reduced to starvation by the Midianites. Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD for help.H3478H3966H1809H6440H4080H1121H3478H2199H30687When they cried out to the LORD because of Midian,H1121H3478H2199H3068H182H40808the LORD sent a prophet to the Israelites. He said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of slavery in Egypt.H3068H7971H376H5030H1121H3478H559H559H3068H430H3478H5927H4714H3318H1004H56509I rescued you from the Egyptians and from all who oppressed you. I drove out your enemies and gave you their land.H5337H3027H4714H3027H3905H1644H6440H5414H77610I told you, 'I am the LORD your God. You must not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you now live.' But you have not listened to me."H559H3068H430H3372H430H567H776H3427H8085H696311Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.H935H4397H3068H3427H424H6084H3101H33H1121H1439H2251H2406H1660H5127H6440H408012The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, "Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!"H4397H3068H7200H559H3068H1368H242813"Sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn't they say, 'The LORD brought us up out of Egypt'? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites."H1439H559H994H113H3426H3068H4672H6381H1H5608H559H3068H5927H4714H3068H5203H5414H3709H408014Then the LORD turned to him and said, "Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!"H3068H6437H559H3212H3581H3467H3478H3709H4080H797115"But Lord," Gideon replied, "how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!"H559H994H136H4100H3467H3478H504H505H1800H4519H6810H1H100416The LORD said to him, "I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man."H3068H559H5221H4080H259H37617Gideon replied, "If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the LORD speaking to me.H559H4672H2580H5869H6213H226H169618Don't go away until I come back and bring my offering to you." He answered, "I will stay here until you return."H4185H935H3318H4503H3240H6440H559H3427H772519Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with a basketc of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the great tree.H1439H935H6213H5795H1423H4682H374H7058H1320H7760H5536H7760H4839H6517H3318H424H506620The angel of God said to him, "Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it." And Gideon did as he was told.H4397H430H559H3947H1320H4682H3240H1975H5553H8210H4839H621321Then the angel of the LORD touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the LORD disappeared.H4397H3068H7971H7097H4938H3027H5060H1320H4682H5927H784H6697H398H1320H4682H4397H3068H1980H586922When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he cried out, "Oh, Sovereign LORD, I'm doomed! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"H1439H7200H4397H3068H1439H559H162H136H3069H3651H7200H4397H3068H6440H644023"It is all right," the LORD replied. "Do not be afraid. You will not die."H3068H559H7965H3372H419124And Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means "the LORD is peace"). The altar remains in Ophrah in the land of the clan of Abiezer to this day.H1439H1129H4196H3068H7121H3073H3117H6084H3325That night the LORD said to Gideon, "Take the second bull from your father's herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father's altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it.H3915H3068H559H3947H1H6499H7794H8145H6499H7651H8141H2040H4196H1168H1H3772H84226Then build an altar to the LORD your God here on this hilltop sanctuary, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down."H1129H4196H3068H430H7218H4581H4634H3947H8145H6499H5927H5930H6086H842H377227So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD had commanded. But he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father's household and the people of the town.H1439H3947H6235H582H5650H6213H3068H1696H3372H1H1004H582H5892H6213H3119H6213H391528Early the next morning, as the people of the town began to stir, someone discovered that the altar of Baal had been broken down and that the Asherah pole beside it had been cut down. In their place a new altar had been built, and on it were the remains of the bull that had been sacrificed.H582H5892H7925H1242H4196H1168H5422H842H3772H8145H6499H5927H4196H112929The people said to each other, "Who did this?" And after asking around and making a careful search, they learned that it was Gideon, the son of Joash.H559H376H7453H6213H1697H1875H1245H559H1439H1121H3101H6213H169730"Bring out your son," the men of the town demanded of Joash. "He must die for destroying the altar of Baal and for cutting down the Asherah pole."H582H5892H559H3101H3318H1121H4191H5422H4196H1168H3772H84231But Joash shouted to the mob that confronted him, "Why are you defending Baal? Will you argue his case? Whoever pleads his case will be put to death by morning! If Baal truly is a god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who broke down his altar!"H3101H559H5975H7378H1168H3467H7378H4191H1242H430H7378H5422H419632From then on Gideon was called Jerub-baal, which means "Let Baal defend himself," because he broke down Baal's altar.H3117H7121H3378H559H1168H7378H5422H4196

Gideon Asks for a Sign

33Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel.H4080H6002H1121H6924H622H3162H5674H2583H6010H315734Then the Spirit of the LORD took possession of Gideon. He blew a ram's horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.H7307H3068H3847H1439H8628H7782H44H2199H31035He also sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, summoning their warriors, and all of them responded.H7971H4397H4519H2199H310H7971H4397H836H2074H5321H5927H712536Then Gideon said to God, "If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised,H1439H559H430H3426H3467H3478H3027H169637prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised."H3322H1492H6785H1637H2919H1492H2721H776H3045H3467H3478H3027H169638And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water.H7925H4283H2115H1492H2115H4680H2919H1492H5602H4393H432539Then Gideon said to God, "Please don't be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew."H1439H559H430H639H2734H1696H6471H5254H6471H1492H2721H1492H776H291940So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.H430H6213H3915H2721H1492H2919H776


New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.
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