We commonly say that a burnt child dreads the fire, but Israel, after smarting again and again as the result of her sin, returned to it the moment the chastisement was removed, or the judge was dead. Such is the strange infatuation of men:
This nation was but a puny enemy, and yet it was too much for sinful Israel. The tribes had formerly reduced the Midianites to a very low condition, and now they are themselves unable to stand before them. See how sin weakens men.
Judges 6:5, 6
These wandering plunderers were hard to grapple with, and must have been a dreadful scourge. It is to such marauders that much of the present deserted condition of Palestine is due.
Judges 6:7, 8
The sending of faithful ministers to a people is a token for good from the Lord, even though their testimony should be rather a rebuke than a consolation;
Judges 6:9, 10
Faithful are the wounds of a friend. God had just cause to complain, and in unveiling Israel’s great sin, the Lord’s servant was going the surest way to build up peace upon a permanent foundation.
He found Gideon retired, employed, and distressed; three suitable conditions to warrant a celestial interposition. He had very little wheat, for he had no oxen to thresh it; and he was in great fear of the enemy, and therefore threshed not on the barn floor, but in the winepress; yet in his poverty he received rich grace. God is no respecter of persons.
These were commonsense questions, and proved that the enquirer had well considered the matter.
It is clear that the angel was the Lord himself. From such lips what power there is in that question, “Have not I sent thee?” And what inspiration followed his glance, when “the Lord looked upon Gideon.”
God called Gideon mighty, and made him so, he sent him and went with him, he taught him faith and then honoured his faith. In what manner will the Lord glorify himself in each of us?