Step 1: In the eyes of the Lord, the Israelites did wrong. For seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.
Step 2: Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.
Step 3: When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Step 4: The Lord rescued them from the hand of the Egyptians. And He delivered them from the hand of all of their oppressors; He drove them out before them and gave you their land. The Lord said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”
Step 5: The country experienced peace and quietness for 40 years.
Characteristics of Gideon
Gideon was very insecure at first. When God came and chose him to become the leader of the army that was going to make an attack, he wasn't quite sure he was right for the job. As he thought so, Gideon wanted to be reassured. So he told the Lord that he was to place a sheep skin outside and that next morning it be wet and the ground be dry, and so it was. Gideon wasn't positive so he tried again. This time he placed the sheep skin out and wanted it to be completely dry and the ground to be wet, and it was. He then knew that he was the chosen one.
He trusted in his God. Gideon was given 22,000 men left and only 10,000 remained. Gideon was ready for the attack but God came and told him that he didn't need that many men for battle. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.
Encouraging, thats all I have to say. Gideon had a dream and it was about “a round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.” When Gideon knew of its interoperation, he woke all his men, divided them into 3 companies and said, “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’” Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.
Gideon had many accomplishments. The Ephraimites asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?” And they challenged him vigorously. But he answered them, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?” At this, their resentment against him subsided.
He is strong willed. As him and his men came to the Jordan River, they went and crossed it. He said to the men of Sukkoth, “Give my troops some bread; they are worn out, and I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.” But the officials of Sukkoth said, “Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your troops?” But Gideon wouldn't take that and told the man that he was to tear his flesh with desert thorns and briers.
Gideon son of Joash then returned from the battle by the Pass of Heres. He caught a young man of Sukkoth and questioned him, and the young man wrote down for him the names of the seventy-seven officials of Sukkoth, the elders of the town. As Gideon brought the men into the town, he asked for the elders to give them bread because they were so exhausted. The elders said, "Why should we give bread to your exhausted men?”. So Gideon took the elders and taught the men of Sukkoth a lesson by punishing them with desert thorns and briers. He also pulled down the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the town. By doing this, it made him strong, and fierce and made him have a reputation that no other man could have at the time.
Gideon was well respected from all the people who had known him. The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” But Gideon said, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.) They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.
Gideon was afraid most of all. He may of showed it at first, but throughout his time as a leader he was afraid that he would fail God. He knew he had to take on many responsibilities as a leader, such as leading the army, making sacrifices and killing many people on the way. Gideon understood the ultimate importance and safety of having God as man’s Ruler. Gideon’s humble, visionary attitude made of him a conqueror before God and a hero in the eyes of his countrymen. Gideon’s example proves to us that, through the faithfulness of a few, many can be delivered and become conquerors.