Chapter 5: Song of Praise
Deborah and Barak sing a song of Praise because of the deliverance of Israel from the Canaanite bondage.
This chapter is all poetry. I highly recommend anyone reading this to read the passages for yourself. It essentially summarizes what happens in the previous chapters and talks about how God should be praised and the Israelites should follow the commandments. Because of Deborah and Sisera they were freed from the bondage of the Canaanites. (of course because of the hand of God in using Deborah and Sisera the Israelites are free).
Chapter 6: Overthrowing the Altar of Baal
Again the Israelites do evil in the sight of the Lord and they are placed into bondage for under the Midianites for seven years.
The Lord hears the cries of the Israelites and sends a prophet. An angel of the Lord appears under an oak tree in Ophrah. The son of Joash, Gideon was busy thrashing wheat by a winepress to avoid the Midianites. The angel appears t Gideon and tells him that the Lord is with him, and that he is a “…mighty man of valour.” (Judges 6:12). Gideon asks how the Lord is with him, when Israel is suffering and they are in bondage to the Midianites. He also asks the angel about the lack of miracles that their ancestors had spoken of when they were freed from bondage from the Egyptians. The Angel responds with something to the effect of, God has come to ask you for help, right? Kind of like saying, hey he is here now… so let’s just do it.
The Angel commands Gideon to take down the altars of Baal and grove. Gideon agrees and does it by night. After tarrying down the altars he makes a sacrifice with a young bullock on the newly erected altar to the Lord God.
The next morning everyone is wondering who took the altar down, they find out it is Gideon and go to Joash (his father) and demand that he come out of the house, because he must die. Joash however talks the people out of killing his son, by saying that if Baal really is a god, then let him fight his own battle. If he really is a god, he will kill Gideon himself.
The Midianites and a bunch of other groups gather together and come to the children of Israel (most likely to make war with them). Gideon is warned by God about this and he calls the Israelites together by blowing a trumpet. Gideon, however is a little confused and is not sure it is God that is really talking to him. So he devises a test to prove that it is God speaking with him.
Gideon takes wool fleece and places it on the floor. The next morning if the fleece is wet with dew, but the rest of the ground is dry he will trust God and do as he has asked in saving Israel. The next morning he finds that the ground is dry and the fleece is wet with dew as he wrings out the fleece making a bowl of water.
Gideon however is still unsure, so he makes up a second test. He does however ask God to not be upset with him for his constant asking for signs. Gideon performs the same test, but this time he wants the fleece to be dry and the ground to be wet. The next morning the ground is wet and the fleece is dry. This seems enough to convince Gideon and he agrees to do what God has asked him to do.