After Deborah, the land enjoyed peace for the next 40 years, but soon they were back in the hands of oppressors. This time it was the Midianites, who, with their allies, would enter Israel and destroy all the newly planted crops and steal the livestock (Judges 6:3-5) .
Israel became greatly impoverished and cried out to the Lord (Judges 6:6-7) . They realized that their fashionable gods were of no use now.
Despite Gideon’s complaint, which was unwarranted (they were disobedient; that’s why they were oppressed) , God was ready to deliver, again, but this time through Gideon. How interesting that God would call Gideon a “mighty man of valor, ” even though Gideon viewed himself as something else entirely: “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house” (Judges 6:15, NKJV) . No question, a crucial component of Gideon’s strength was his own sense of unimportance and weakness.
Notice, too, what Gideon had asked of the Lord, in Judges 6:36-40. That is, aware of the odds against them and his own weakness, he sought for special assurance of God’s presence. Thus, we have here a man who fully realized his utter dependence upon the Lord. We can read in Judges 7 about Gideon’s amazing success against the oppressors of his people and God’s deliverance of Israel.
Why did the Lord choose to use fallen humans in the course of this deliverance? That is, could He have not Himself called “more than twelve legions of angels” (Matt. 26:53) to do what was needed for Israel at that time? What role do we, as fallen human beings, have in both the great controversy and the spreading of the gospel?