Make no mistake... God allowed the "Judgement" of the Midianite oppression because of Israel's idolatry.
It may have been perhaps as much as 170 years that the idolatrous groves of Baal populated the land ultimately owned by Joash, Gideon's father. This is according to the dating that my Thompson Chain Reference marginal info suggests. In the margins at the first chapter of Judges it shows the date as 1425 bc, and the sixth chapter, when Gideon arrives in history shows 1256 bc. In chapter six, we may notice that Israel in those four plus generations, had become so entrenched in the "wickedness" of the Canaanite's Idolatry that God found it needful to allow the Midianites to oppress Israel, thereby delivering to them a type of "judgement".
It was a type of judgement in the sense of chastisement and correction from their path of the wickedness of worshipping other gods. This was no minor infraction or innocent "straying" to the left or right, this among other hideous practices typically involved sexual immorality and child sacrifices..
Now it may be that Gideon's father Joash, wasn't even a fan of the groves (phallic carvings) that populated his land. It may be that these idols were handed down over a few generations; from his father and also from his fathers. The Book of Judges doesn't give us those details. What is known, is that Joash defended his son after he had cut down the idols and their neighbors wanted to kill him. This earned Gideon the name of Jerub Baal.
Gideon's actions were a statement of his commitment to God's commands to rebel against the baby murders and oppressive Midianites and those in Israel who supported them. The neighbors may not have understood that at the time, but when the Midianites got wind about what Jerub Baal (Gideon) had done, they mobilized an army that included "Amalekites and the children of the east." All in order to retaliate on Gideon's blaspheme against the gods that required the first-born sacrifices.
Which brings us to a comparison with our forms of "other gods" worship; the worship of self and, perhaps, the unintentional worship of the, behind the scenes, gods of convenience. And, as a result, there is an American (and therefore global judgement) underway. Truly, even before the Apostle John wrote concerning this, it has been at work.
- 1 John 4:
- 1 ¶ Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
- 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
- 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
As always, the case with "other gods" [satan] is that demonic entities get humans to do his dirty work: mobilizing the evil living in all human flesh: to war against the purposes of the One true God. And while we believers do not, in reality, "wrestle with flesh and blood", the evil that resides in our fellow man does wrestle against the believer and the purposes of God, which brings His corrective chastisement, his, [small 'j] "judgement".
As a small side note, the American/Global "judgement" really geared up a few notches at the very end of the eighteen hundreds with Theodor Herzl's publication of The Jewish State. Quickly followed by two world wars, and the advent of our most hideous crimes against God and our fellow man, Abortion..! The fact that Israel had (thankfully) again became a nation in 1948, heralded the final Judgement against man's self-worship and satan's rule.
However, all these 120+ years up to the "present," can be thrown into the bucket of "the end is not yet". Or, the judgement of the lower case " j." The great day of His Judgement is reserved for what happens "just around the corner" from our "now". Most everything mentioned in the previous paragraph is found in Matthew 24, verses 4 thru 14 and is clearly where we are at now.
This "judgement" is "the beginning of sorrows" that Yeshua (Jesus) alluded to in verses 10 and 12 of Matthew 24. And they are further indicators of mankind's rebellion and what may be the motivation for the crime of Abortion. But, there remains the deeper motivation of the sacrificing of our children to these gods of "convenience", Baal and Moloch. And, that of the ever deeper crime - the even more hideous crime - of it being Nationally Legal to do so. As in the days of ancient Israel and the Midianites, it was not only legal but expected. Today's world may not "expect" anyone to get an abortion but what is expected is that abortions be not only legal but respected.
There is a glimmer of hope... people rising up and individual states are repenting and trying to reverse these abortion measures and are meeting with some degree success. Like Jerub Baal's (Gideon's) 300, these "rebels" may be what "stalls" (to some extent) the small j "judgement" as like what happened in the Book of Judges. It may be that we will be given a small reprieve from the greater Judgement coming. If we will but continue to humble ourselves and pray, we may have the more important and greater success of adding to our family of believers, sincere and repentant hearted people, thus slowing the worldwide tsunami of Lawlessness.
What is presently manifesting, is the fulfillment of the "fullness of the Gentiles" mentioned in Romans 11. But, that is for another blog.