And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite…
This ancient history carries us back to a period when God's Israel was in poverty and want. It was not the action of laws passed in the interests of landowners which led to their misery; it came through the oppression of a foreign foe, whose merciless treatment of the people scarcely left them the means of life. "They did evil in the sight of. the Lord" may be written across the history of most suffering and sadness. This is the tap-root of much of our suffering and inconvenience. This is the poison which destroys our life.
I. THE TEXT SAYS IT WAS AN ANGEL WHICH CAME TO CALL GIDEON.
II. NOTICE HOW THE ANGEL FOUND GIDEON ENGAGED WHEN HE CAME TO CALL HIM. The angel found Gideon at work. Work is honourable. God has often put honour upon the lowly worker. Let no man say that work is degrading, that work is low; to be an idler, to be a drone, is to be dishonoured.
III. SEE THE ANGEL'S ESTIMATE OF GIDEON. The angel addressed Gideon as "thou mighty man of valour." What! A man in apparent poverty; a man threshing a bit of wheat with his own strength; a man having to prepare his very food in secret, lest it should be stolen; that man called by the angel a mighty man of valour! Poor, yet valiant! "Ah," but you say, "that belongs to an old world time. We have altered all this now." Yes, indeed, we have made some changes, and changes which have not always been for the better. We call men noble now who are often ignoble. It is about time that we recognised to the full that poor men may be valiant men, and that lowly men may be noble men. 'Tis only noble to be good. Thousands of people, like Gideon, toil in secret, and are not known to fame, but are among the valiant and the mighty. Earth's scroll has no page for their names in golden writing, but the angels of God have written them down in the Lamb's book of life in heaven.
IV. GIDEON'S COMPLAINT TO THE ANGEL. I suppose we all find it easy to thank God and see God with us when all goes well. But wait until the lark sinks songless to his nest, and the path of life becomes a wearisome journey, filled with stones and thorns; wait until sickness, sorrow, and bereavement enter the dwelling; wait until the man stands in the darkness of a foggy night of pain, loss, and despair; how does he act then? How did you act when you were in this condition? Were you any better than Gideon? Could you see the Lord in it? And yet few things are more true in the experience of good men than the presence of God and the love of God in the loss and pain.
(C. Leach, D. D.)
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.