This Week's Story

An unknown visitor gives Gideon a dangerous mission against the Midianites.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Desperate Times part one

Gideon was sweating and frustrated as he beat his wheat secretly in a cramped space by his wine press.  He could not risk being seen in a open area.  Midianites might steal his grain.

Suddenly a man stood before him.  Where did he come from?  He spoke strange words, “Gideon, God is with you.”

“Sir, how can that be true?  For seven years our enemies have come like swarming locusts, destroying my nation’s crops and stealing our animals.  We live in caves, fear, and starvation.  God has abandoned us!”

As he spoke, he remembered the prophet.  Recently his people, the Israelites, had begged, “God, please help us!”

Soon after a prophet had come and declared, “God delivered you from slavery in Egypt.  He forbade you to worship idols, but you disobey Him.”

Now Gideon stared at the man before him.  Was he another messenger from God?

“Gideon,” the man announced, “God is sending you to rescue Israel.”

Gideon protested, “How can that be?  My family is the least important family in the tribe of Manasseh, and in my family I receive no special honor.”

The man promised, “I will be with you.  You will defeat the Midianites as though you were fighting one man.”

Gideon was astounded.  Was this man God? How could he say, “I will be with you.”

“If what you say is true, I need a sign to know that you are really God speaking to me.  Please stay here until I can go home and prepare an offering for you.”

“I’ll wait, Gideon.”

Gideon returned with cooked goat meat, meat broth, and bread baked with no yeast.

His guest instructed him, “Place the meat and bread on this rock.  Pour the broth over it.”

He did so and fire consumed all the food.  Gideon was terrified!  This man, this angel, was God!

“Gideon, do not be afraid.  You will not die.”  Later he instructed Gideon, “Tear down the places where your father and townspeople worship the false idols Baal and Asherah.    Then build an altar to God.”

When the night was dark and his family asleep, Gideon moved quickly into the darkness with ten of his servants. He did as he had been told. Hopefully none of the townspeople or his family would see him.  His actions would be considered grossly disrespectful. It would not matter that the Israelites had been warned to have nothing to do with idols.

The next morning when the men of the town saw the destruction of their idols, they began questioning people until they learned Gideon was their target. They ordered his father Joash, “Get your son!  He must die for what he has done.”

Joash argued, “Are you going to defend the idol Baal?  Whoever tries to shield Baal worship, is the person to be put to death.  If Baal is a real god, then let him be his own champion.”  The angry men returned to their homes.

In the next weeks enemies of the Israelites began marching large armies into the valley of Jezreel. God’s spirit gave Gideon power and the people took his words seriously. He sent messengers throughout four tribes requesting Israelite soldiers to come to fight against the invaders.  32,000 Israelite men came.

Gideon prayed to God, “If you are going to save Israel by my hand, then, may I test you?”

This is Barbara Steiner.  Soon we will hear about Gideon’s tests and surprising battle strategy.  Please check out

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Gideon had to have a lot of courage to tear down the place where the townspeople worshipped Baal. He was obedient and therefore prepared for another mission. from Lohnay

Even with the conflicts Gideon had, God chose him to save Israel from destruction. from Caleb

I thought that Gideon was very afraid of the man that spoke to him that God was going to help the townspeople. I think that the man is an angel of God that was sent down to tell Gideon. fom Fatima

My favorite part was when God showed Gideon a sign that he is really God. Thank you! :) from Sarah

Even after Gideon tore down the images dedicated to the idols, he was really uncertain. from Matthew

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