Gleaning Guidance from Gideon
The story of Gideon is a powerful one that has captivated readers for centuries. As one of the most prominent figures in the Book of Judges, Gideon is a complex character whose actions are both admirable and questionable. Through his journey, we learn about the importance of faith, courage, and leadership. In this character study, we will delve deeper into the life of Gideon, examining his personality, strengths, and weaknesses, and how we can learn from his story.
Gideon was a man from the tribe of Manasseh who was chosen by God to lead the Israelites against their oppressors, the Midianites. When we first meet Gideon, he is a hesitant and fearful man who doubts his ability to lead. In fact, when the angel of the Lord first appears to him, Gideon questions why God has allowed the Israelites to suffer under the oppression of the Midianites for so long. He also questions why he, a man from the weakest clan in Manasseh, has been chosen to deliver the Israelites.
Gideon’s reluctance to lead is understandable given the difficult circumstances in which he finds himself. The Israelites have been oppressed by the Midianites for seven years, and they are desperately in need of a leader who can deliver them from their enemies. However, Gideon’s initial doubts and fears make him a relatable and human character. Your family can use this man’s story as an example of how even the most unlikely and hesitant individuals can be used by the Lord to accomplish great things.
Throughout his story, Gideon is constantly seeking reassurance and signs from God, but he is also willing to take practical steps to ensure victory. For example, he requests that God give him a sign by wetting a fleece with dew overnight, and then leaving the fleece dry while the ground around it is wet the following night. His willingness to take practical action to ensure the success of his goals is a valuable lesson for families. While it is important to have faith and trust in God, we must also be willing to stand up and complete the work that God has given us to do. Gideon’s story teaches us that faith and practicality must go hand in hand.
As Gideon’s story progresses, we see him growing in confidence and faith. After God whittles down the Israelite army from 32,000 men to just 300, Gideon leads a surprise attack on the Midianite camp, routing the enemy and securing a decisive victory for the Israelites. It is at this point that Gideon fully embraces his role as a leader and recognizes that God is truly with him and giving him success in delivering his nation from the hands of their tyrannical oppressors.
Gideon was a man with both strengths and flaws. One of his most significant weaknesses is his lack of trust in the Lord. Throughout his story, Gideon repeatedly asks God for signs and confirmation that he is on the right path. While it is natural to seek reassurance, Gideon’s lack of trust in Jehovah’s plan and his constant need for confirmation demonstrated a lack of faith. Another weakness is his willingness to compromise his principles. After his victory over the Midianites, Gideon makes an ephod out of the spoils of war and sets it up in his hometown of Ophrah. This ephod becomes a source of idolatry and causes the Israelites to turn away from worshiping God. Sadly, this is a warning that even the most faithful and courageous individuals can fall prey to temptation and compromise their values.
Despite his flaws, Gideon is ultimately remembered as a hero and a great leader of the Israelites. His story teaches us about the importance of faith, courage, and leadership. As a hesitant and fearful man who is chosen by God to lead the Israelites against their oppressors, Gideon shows us that even the most unlikely individuals can be used by God to accomplish great things. However, his story also reminds us that even the most successful leaders have weaknesses and blind spots. Your family can use Gideon’s story as a starting point for discussions about leadership, courage, and the importance of faith in our daily lives as we seek to fulfill the work that God has given us to do.
If you enjoyed reading this character sketch about Gideon and want to help your children develop Godly character, then be on the lookout for our upcoming online course, Cultivating Christ-like Character: Life Lessons for Little Lads and Ladies. This course will provide homeschool parents with practical tools and resources to help their children learn about and embody Godly character traits. Through engaging lessons and activities, your children will learn how to apply these traits to their daily lives, grow in their relationship with God, and become the leaders of tomorrow. Stay tuned about this exciting opportunity to invest in your children’s spiritual growth and development!