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Gideon learns to be bold for God

An angel appears to Gideon.
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After Deborah the judge died the people of Israel turned away from God to worship idols.<br/>At harvest time for the next seven years the Midianites attacked them to steal or destroy their crops. The people of Israel had to live in caves and places where their enemies could not find them. <br/>Unable to take any more oppression the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help.<br/>A prophet gave God’s reply, ‘I brought you out of slavery in Egypt and gave you this land and told you not to worship false gods. But you have not listened to me.’ – Slide 1
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A man called Gideon was threshing wheat he had hidden in a winepress. An angel of the Lord appeared to him saying, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’ <br/>‘Pardon me, my Lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? The Lord has abandoned us and put us under the control of the Midianites.’ <br/>‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel from the Midianites,’ the Lord replied. ‘Am I not sending you?’ <br/>Gideon protested, ‘But how can I save Israel. My clan is the weakest in this area and I am the youngest in my family.’ – Slide 2
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‘I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive,’ the Lord answered. Gideon was still unsure so he asked for a sign. He went and cooked a young goat in soup and made bread without yeast for an offering. <br/>The angel told him to put the meat and bread on a rock and then poured the soup over it. The angel then touched the offering with the tip of his staff and it burst into flames. Gideon was frightened but the angel told him he would not die. <br/>Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it ‘The Lord Is Peace’. – Slide 3
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That same night the angel told him to tear down his father’s altar to Baal and the Asherah pole beside it. Then to build an altar to the God in its place. <br/>Gideon obeyed and took ten men to help him do this. He put the wood from the Asherah pole on the new altar and sacrificed a bull on it. – Slide 4
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In the morning people saw the new altar and asked, ’Who did this?’. When they found out it was Gideon they went to his father’s house demanding he be brought out and killed. <br/>Gideon’s father, Joash, replied. Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.’ <br/>So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal that day, meaning, ‘Let Baal contend with him.’ <br/>When the Midianites gathered to launch a new attack the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon. He sent messengers to the local tribes to gather ready to attack their enemies. – Slide 5
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