On this day, of the year 1349 B.C., the righteous Gideon, one of the Judges of Israel, departed. He was from the tribe of Manasseh and his father's name was "Joash". The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor." (Judges 6:13) Gideon said to him, "O my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of Midianites." Then the Lord turned to him and said, "Go in this might of yours and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?" So he said to Him, "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." The Lord said to him, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man." Then Gideon said to Him, "If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You Who talk with me. Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You."
He said, "I will wait until you come back." Then Gideon went in and prepared his offerings and brought them out to Him and presented them. And they were accepted. (Judges 6:11-21) The Lord then commanded him to destroy the idols and their altars and to build an altar for the Lord and to offer the sacrifices and burn them with the wood, of which the idols were made. He did so as the Lord commanded him. (Judges 6:25-31)
When God commanded him to fight the Midianites, he asked Him to show him a sign to encourage him and said, "Look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand as You have said." And it was so.
Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more; Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece. Let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew." And God did so that night. (Judges 6:33-40)
Then Gideon and all the people who were with him rose up early and encamped opposite the camp of the Midianites. The Lord said to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me saying, 'My own hand has saved me.' Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people saying, 'Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.'" Twenty-two thousand of the people returned and ten thousand remained.
But the Lord said to Gideon, "The people are still too many. Bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, 'This one shall go with you,' the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, 'This one shall not go with you,' the same shall not go."
So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, "Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink." The number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men, but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water.
Then the Lord said to Gideon, "By the three hundred men who lapped, I will save you and deliver the Midianites into your hand." (Judges 7:1-7) With this number of people Gideon overcame the Midianites and the people with him captured the loots and gave them to Gideon and they put him in charge of them. The Lord God was with Gideon in all that he did. He departed and was buried in the tomb of his father.
His prayers be with us all. Amen.
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