Gideon: Whose side are you on?


This is the fourth in a series of articles retelling the events of Gideon in the Old Testament book of Judges. This fourth article is based on Judges 8: 1-23. You can read the whole series here.


The men were exhausted as we chased the remaining two enemy leaders through the hills. We’d barely rested and the food had run out. I’d never been so weary in my life.

When we got to the town of Sukkoth, I asked the town council to meet me. “We need bread so we can catch the Midianite leaders,” I ordered.

But the mayor laughed. “Why should we waste our bread on you? Three hundred men are never going to capture the Midianite leaders, God or no God!”

I clenched my fists. “When God gives them to me, you’ll regret this.”

So we hurried, starving and footsore, to the next town of Peniel. But they also laughed in our face. They doubted God too.

“When I return victorious, I’ll tear down your grand tower,” I threatened. I knew God didn’t need their help.

We ran on.

We were in no fighting state, but I had to trust that God would fight for us like he had before. I believed his promise.

At last we came to the remaining enemy army. Out of their 135,000 men, only 15,000 had survived. We remained at three hundred.

We attacked and they fell miraculously before us, the two enemy leaders falling to their knees at my feet. They held their heads high and arrogantly told me they’d gone to my home and killed my brothers.

My mercy evaporated, my throat dried up. I executed them myself on the spot.

I returned to Sukkoth and Peniel and showed them what God had achieved without their help: complete victory after years of oppressive Midianite rule.

I punished the town council members and pulled down their grand tower. In opposing God and his army, they were no better than the Midianites.

Following God always led to victory. Opposing him was foolishness – it would always lead to defeat.