Day 91: Gideon's Story

Judges 6:1-40 Gideon, one of the greatest judges, was called from the Tribe of Manasseh. The nomadic Midianites and Amalekites frequently trespassed on their fertile lands with livestock, destroying the crops and leaving nothing behind for the residents or their animals. Gideon’s mission was to gather an army to defeat the Midianites. 

Ch 6:11-24 Angels are purely spiritual beings called to serve God as messengers and helpers of men and women. Before important points in salvation history, they usually appear as God’s messengers for the purpose of preparing chosen people for God’s intervention. One of the best-known instances is the Angel Gabriel’s appearance to Mary to announce the Incarnation and Birth of Christ (cf. Lk 1:26). (CCC 328-332)

Ch 6:24 Yahweh-shalom: “God is peace.” Peace is a fundamental attribute of God that he offers as a gift to everyone who accepts him. Moreover, those who follow Christ invariably witness to and spread the gift of peace to others. (CCC 2302, 2305)

Ch 7:1-25 God chooses leaders from among the weak and powerless so it is clear that the extraordinary accomplishments are clearly seen as God’s work and not the result of human effort. For this reason, God saw Gideon’s army as too large to fight the Midianites; having 32,000 soldiers would tempt Israel to believe that they could win the battle by military strength alone. Therefore, God had Gideon (also called Jerubaal) reduce his army to just 300 men and then miraculously delivered the enemy into Israel’s hands. (CCC 269, 489)

Ch 8:1-35 The wanton killing of entire armies and cities on the part of Israel occurs frequently in the Old Testament. Such acts are intrinsically evil and, therefore, NOT WILLED BY GOD. However, God, in his divine providence, is able to achieve good from these evil acts. The personal responsibility of those who committed these sins could be diminished or even negated due to invincible ignorance, i.e., at that time the entirety of moral law had not been explicitly revealed. The fullness of moral law would only be revealed with the Incarnation of Christ. With the passage of time and through the gradual unfolding of the moral law, the Chosen People developed a more refined conscience and moral sensitivity. (CCC 69, 2309, 2313-2314)

Psalm 135 This psalm begins with a profession of faith that recalls God’s many interventions in history to protect, defend, and save his people. It specifically mentions the journey out of Egypt and the battles Israel had to fight in order to reach and secure the Promised Land. The next section launches into a comparison between faith in the one true God and idolatry: The God of Israel is All-powerful and a living God who guides, loves, and cares for his people, while the idols of paganism are HUMAN INVENTIONS that are inert and inanimate. Those who worship idols will deprive themselves of the indescribable happiness resulting from a personal relationship with God. While religious practice has generally turned from giving cult to graven idols, idolatry still remains a common offense; money, power, sensuality, etc., are the modern idolatries that have created barriers between God and vast numbers of people. (Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, General Audiences, September 28, 2005; October 5, 2005; and April 9, 2003)

Whatever the Lord pleases...and all deeps: Since God is omnipotent, he is referred to as the Almighty, the Lord of hosts, and “strong and mighty.” God is Almighty because he created everything that exists and keeps them 

all in existence. (CCC 269, 2645)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, may your name be praised. May your name be glorified. May we know who you are and lift up our voices and our hearts to always honor you and always praise you and always thank you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”