In chapters 4 and 5 we see that God uses Deborah and Jael to meet a serious crisis. The Canaanites had oppressed Israel for twenty years, so God raised up the prophetess Deborah to lead the way to victory. She gave God's battle plan to Barak, and he trusted the promise of God to give them the victory. Jael helped Israel to fight the battle, as she slew Sisera, the enemy of the Lord.
In chapter 6 God calls Gideon as the next Judge of Israel. Though he often wavered in doubt, he was a man of faith who trusted the Word of God. Hebrews 11:32 puts him at the head of the list of judges.
At first Gideon was unwilling to accept God's Word that he was to be the conqueror of the Midianites. He was merely a farmer, not a warrior. He asked God for a sign, and in verses 19-24 God graciously granted his request.
An army of 32,000 men rallied to Gideon's side, but he was still doubtful of victory. Gideon "put out the fleece" twice and both times God answered. How gracious God is to minister to His feeble saints! We will see the result of the battle in tomorrow's reading.
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