And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite…
It is the call of God that ripens a life into power, resolve, fruitfulness — the call and the response to it. Continually the Bible urges upon us this great truth, that through the keen sense of a close personal relation to God and of duty owing to Him the soul grows and comes to its own. Our human personality is created in that way, and in no other. There are, indeed, lives which are not so inspired and yet appear strong; an ingenious, resolute selfishness gives them momentum. But this individuality is akin to that of ape or tiger; it is a part of the earth force, in yielding to which a man forfeits his proper being and dignity. Look at Napoleon, the supreme example in history of this failure. A great genius, a striking character! Only in the carnal region, for human personality is moral, spiritual, and the most triumphant cunning does not make a man; while on the other hand from a very moderate endowment put to the glorious usury of God's service will grow a soul clear, brave, and firm, precious in the ranks of life. Let a human being, however ignorant and low, hear and answer the Divine summons, and in that place a man appears, one who stands related to the source of strength and light. And when a man, roused by such a call, feels responsibility for his country, for religion, the hero is astir. Something will be done for which mankind waits.
(R. A. Watson, 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.