Judges 6 - Prayer Tents



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Judges 6
The Message

Gideon

6Yet again the People of Israel went back to doing evil in GOD's sight. GOD put them under the domination of Midian for seven years.H1121H3478H6213H7451H5869H3068H3068H5414H3027H4080H7651H8141 2Midian overpowered Israel. Because of Midian, the People of Israel made for themselves hideouts in the mountains—caves and forts.H3027H4080H5810H3478H6440H4080H1121H3478H6213H4492H2022H4631H4679 3When Israel planted its crops, Midian and Amalek, the easterners, would invade them,H3478H2232H4080H5927H6002H1121H6924H5927 4camp in their fields, and destroy their crops all the way down to Gaza. They left nothing for them to live on, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey.H2583H7843H2981H776H935H5804H7604H4241H3478H7716H7794H2543 5Bringing their cattle and tents, they came in and took over, like an invasion of locusts. And their camels—past counting! They marched in and devastated the country.H5927H4735H168H935H935H1767H697H7230H1581H4557H935H776H7843 6The People of Israel, reduced to grinding poverty by Midian, cried out to GOD for help.H3478H3966H1809H6440H4080H1121H3478H2199H3068 7One time when the People of Israel had cried out to GOD because of Midian,H1121H3478H2199H3068H182H4080 8GOD sent them a prophet with this message: "GOD, the God of Israel, says, I delivered you from Egypt, I freed you from a life of slavery;H3068H7971H376H5030H1121H3478H559H559H3068H430H3478H5927H4714H3318H1004H5650 9I rescued you from Egypt's brutality and then from every oppressor; I pushed them out of your way and gave you their land.H5337H3027H4714H3027H3905H1644H6440H5414H776 10"And I said to you, 'I am GOD, your God. Don't for a minute be afraid of the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living.' But you didn't listen to me."H559H3068H430H3372H430H567H776H3427H8085H6963 11One day the angel of GOD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites.H935H4397H3068H3427H424H6084H3101H33H1121H1439H2251H2406H1660H5127H6440H4080 12The angel of GOD appeared to him and said, "GOD is with you, O mighty warrior!"H4397H3068H7200H559H3068H1368H2428 13Gideon replied, "With me, my master? If GOD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, 'Didn't GOD deliver us from Egypt?' The fact is, GOD has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian."H1439H559H994H113H3426H3068H4672H6381H1H5608H559H3068H5927H4714H3068H5203H5414H3709H4080 14But GOD faced him directly: "Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven't I just sent you?"H3068H6437H559H3212H3581H3467H3478H3709H4080H7971 15Gideon said to him, "Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan's the weakest in Manasseh and I'm the runt of the litter."H559H994H136H4100H3467H3478H504H505H1800H4519H6810H1H1004 16GOD said to him, "I'll be with you. Believe me, you'll defeat Midian as one man."H3068H559H5221H4080H259H376 17Gideon said, "If you're serious about this, do me a favor: Give me a sign to back up what you're telling me.H559H4672H2580H5869H6213H226H1696 18Don't leave until I come back and bring you my gift." He said, "I'll wait till you get back."H4185H935H3318H4503H3240H6440H559H3427H7725 19Gideon went and prepared a young goat and a huge amount of unraised bread (he used over half a bushel of flour!). He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot and took them back under the shade of the oak tree for a sacred meal.H1439H935H6213H5795H1423H4682H374H7058H1320H7760H5536H7760H4839H6517H3318H424H5066 20The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and unraised bread, place them on that rock, and pour the broth on them." Gideon did it.H4397H430H559H3947H1320H4682H3240H1975H5553H8210H4839H6213 21The angel of GOD stretched out the tip of the stick he was holding and touched the meat and the bread. Fire broke out of the rock and burned up the meat and bread while the angel of God slipped away out of sight.H4397H3068H7971H7097H4938H3027H5060H1320H4682H5927H784H6697H398H1320H4682H4397H3068H1980H5869 22And Gideon knew it was the angel of God! Gideon said, "Oh no! Master, GOD! I have seen the angel of God face to face!"H1439H7200H4397H3068H1439H559H162H136H3069H3651H7200H4397H3068H6440H6440 23But GOD reassured him, "Easy now. Don't panic. You won't die."H3068H559H7965H3372H4191 24Then Gideon built an altar there to GOD and named it "GOD's Peace." It's still called that at Ophrah of Abiezer.H1439H1129H4196H3068H7121H3073H3117H6084H33 25That night this happened. GOD said to him, "Take your father's best seven-year-old bull, the prime one. Tear down your father's Baal altar and chop down the Asherah fertility pole beside it.H3915H3068H559H3947H1H6499H7794H8145H6499H7651H8141H2040H4196H1168H1H3772H842 26Then build an altar to GOD, your God, on the top of this hill. Take the prime bull and present it as a Whole-Burnt-Offering, using firewood from the Asherah pole that you cut down."H1129H4196H3068H430H7218H4581H4634H3947H8145H6499H5927H5930H6086H842H3772 27Gideon selected ten men from his servants and did exactly what GOD had told him. But because of his family and the people in the neighborhood, he was afraid to do it openly, so he did it that night.H1439H3947H6235H582H5650H6213H3068H1696H3372H1H1004H582H5892H6213H3119H6213H3915 28Early in the morning, the people in town were shocked to find Baal's altar torn down, the Asherah pole beside it chopped down, and the prime bull burning away on the altar that had been built.H582H5892H7925H1242H4196H1168H5422H842H3772H8145H6499H5927H4196H1129 29They kept asking, "Who did this?" Questions and more questions, and then the answer: "Gideon son of Joash did it."H559H376H7453H6213H1697H1875H1245H559H1439H1121H3101H6213H1697 30The men of the town demanded of Joash: "Bring out your son! He must die! Why, he tore down the Baal altar and chopped down the Asherah tree!"H582H5892H559H3101H3318H1121H4191H5422H4196H1168H3772H842 31But Joash stood up to the crowd pressing in on him, "Are you going to fight Baal's battles for him? Are you going to save him? Anyone who takes Baal's side will be dead by morning. If Baal is a god in fact, let him fight his own battles and defend his own altar."H3101H559H5975H7378H1168H3467H7378H4191H1242H430H7378H5422H4196 32They nicknamed Gideon that day Jerub-Baal because after he had torn down the Baal altar, he had said, "Let Baal fight his own battles."H3117H7121H3378H559H1168H7378H5422H4196 33All the Midianites and Amalekites (the easterners) got together, crossed the river, and made camp in the Valley of Jezreel.H4080H6002H1121H6924H622H3162H5674H2583H6010H3157 34GOD's Spirit came over Gideon. He blew his ram's horn trumpet and the Abiezrites came out, ready to follow him.H7307H3068H3847H1439H8628H7782H44H2199H310 35He dispatched messengers all through Manasseh, calling them to the battle; also to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali. They all came.H7971H4397H4519H2199H310H7971H4397H836H2074H5321H5927H7125 36Gideon said to God, "If this is right, if you are using me to save Israel as you've said,H1439H559H430H3426H3467H3478H3027H1696 37then look: I'm placing a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If dew is on the fleece only, but the floor is dry, then I know that you will use me to save Israel, as you said."H3322H1492H6785H1637H2919H1492H2721H776H3045H3467H3478H3027H1696 38That's what happened. When he got up early the next morning, he wrung out the fleece—enough dew to fill a bowl with water!H7925H4283H2115H1492H2115H4680H2919H1492H5602H4393H4325 39Then Gideon said to God, "Don't be impatient with me, but let me say one more thing. I want to try another time with the fleece. But this time let the fleece stay dry, while the dew drenches the ground."H1439H559H430H639H2734H1696H6471H5254H6471H1492H2721H1492H776H2919 40God made it happen that very night. Only the fleece was dry while the ground was wet with dew.H430H6213H3915H2721H1492H2919H776


The Message (MSG). All Scripture quotations are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. More details.

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