Now that Deborah is done singing her song bragging about the death and destruction the Israelites caused under the commands of God, we can move on to the next ‘judge’ in the chapter, Gideon.
“The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.” – Judges 6:1
Of course they did. We aren’t told why, but precedent has been set for God to step in and force others to oppress the Israelites.
“Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.” – Judges 6:6
Why are the Israelites reaching out the very being that has caused them to suffer?
“’Pardon me, my lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt? But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.’” – Judges 6:13
Gideon asks an excellent question. Why did God do all of this? What is God’s response?
“The Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’” – Judges 6:14
God ignores Gideon’s question and simply tells Gideon to shut up, listen, and do as you’re told.
“The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.’” – Judges 6:16
So once again the Lord will help the Israelites destroy the very people God had oppress the Israelites. What a mind fuck!
“That same night the Lord said to him, ‘Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.’” – Judges 6:25-26
God says he will be with Gideon, but apparently only if Gideon slaughters a bull (and a goat a few verses earlier) in the exact proper way. If you don’t slaughter that bull correctly, God will not be with you. What nonsense!
“But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, ‘Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.’” – Judges 6:31
An interesting argument. If Baal really is a god, he should be able to break down his own altar. However, the same can be said of the Christian god. If God really is a god, why does he need Christians defending him and oppressing others? Why can’t he just do it himself? Hmmm….perfect argument for…wait for it…NO GOD!!!
I’ll end things there. There are a few more verses on Gideon asking God to prove himself, but all related to dew on a wool cloth. In other words, no evidence at all. If God wants to prove himself, all he has to do is clearly show himself. It’s not a hard task for an all-powerful god.
Coming Soon: Judges – Chapter 7: Gideon Defeats the Midianites