And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite…
Already Gideon had received what ought to have been a sufficient assurance of the Divine favour, for his offering had been accepted, and of this he had received the clearest evidence in the issue of fire from the rock. But the sense of acceptance which this sign was well fitted to inspire was overborne by the indefinite sense of fear, which prostrated him in the dust. But mark how tenderly and sympathisingly the Lord, if not now in a bodily form, at least with audible voice, replies to his cry, and reassures the trembling man. And may we not here recognise the voice of that very Saviour — the Angel of the everlasting covenant, the Prince of Peace, who said to the winds and waves of the sea of Galilee, as they threatened to swallow up His disciples, "Peace be still," and who after His resurrection appeared to them again and again saying, "Peace be unto you"? We may indeed! Never does He allow any one who really fears the Lord to remain long in so deplorable a state as that in which Gideon is described to have been. Never does He "break the bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax." It gives Him no satisfaction to see any of His creatures overcome by slavish terror and alarm from whatsoever cause. And when, in any ease, the soul and the affections are found to yield to constitutional weakness of that kind, who so ready as He with encouraging assurances such as that which He addressed to Gideon, "Peace be unto thee; fear not." He would have us to reflect that the grand end for which He came into this world was to banish all terrors from the guilty breast, to restore tranquillity to the most tempest-tossed bosom. "Fear not," says He; "thou shalt not die!" Death temporal, indeed, still holds its stern dominion over all the families of men. But death eternal has been abolished, and "life and immortality have been brought to light." "Thou shalt surely die," was the doom pronounced on all, in consequence of the entrance of sin into our world. But listen to the gospel bells as their sweet, harmonious sounds come softened by distance over the waters of time. What do they say? "Thou shalt not die; surely thou shalt not die." The Angel of the everlasting covenant whispers it amid the silence of the night, adding, "Because I live, ye shalt live also." And in His hands are the keys of life and of death, of death and of hell.
(W. W. Duncan, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
WEB: The angel of Yahweh came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.