Israel sins again and crys out to God for help (pathetic really). An angel visits young Gideon and tells him he will defeat the Mideonites who are oppressing the people. Now you have to understand, Gideon comes from the weakest tribe, is relatively young and has no warrior training. The angel found him working in a wine press for crying out loud...but God favors the underdog :)
Under God's direction, Gideon tears down an altar that his father has built to Baal and builds a proper one in its place. In the morning, the town is ticked that they altar has been "defiled" and demands justice. Joash (Gideon's father) says that if Baal is as powerful as they think he is, then Baal should deal with Gideon--not man. God allowed him to be spared--he's got more important things to do!
Gideon takes a little convincing that he is a chosen man of God. When the angle first comes to him, he asks for a sign--and gets it in the form of a small fire brought forth from a rock. The second and third signs show that he is still a little timid--he lays a fleece on the ground and asks God to cover the fleece in dew leaving the rest of the ground dry...it happens. Then he asks God to do the reverse=wet ground, dry fleece..it happens.
Gideon and is men are set for attack, but God decides that his army is too large. If the army is too large, the people can claim it was by their own strength that they won, not Gods. The army is dwindled to 300 and they march on the defeat the Midianites. Reminds me of another story about 300 amazing soldiers ;)
The whole point of this story is that God can use whoever He wants. If He wants to make something happen, He will make it happen. Gideon was humble and just the man for the job. He questioned himself and never thought too highly of his abilities. God knew he was the perfect "warrior" to defeat Midian and save the people once again...beautifully perfect.
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