Gideon: Disciple Lessons from the Bronze Age (Judges 6-8)

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

One of the more poignant moments in Scripture is the scene where an angel appears to Gideon, who is hiding from the Amalekite oppressors, and greets him with the words, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior!"ť (Judges 6:12).

Who? Me? Who is the angel talking about? Gideon sees himself as the opposite of a mighty warrior. He comes from a humble clan, and is considered in his family the least likely to succeed. But God sees him differently. God sees Gideon as he will become in the Lord as the way he sees you and me.

Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
I've been leading online Bible studies since 1996. If you've participated in one before, you know how God can use them in your life. If not, then you have a treat in store for you. I am an ordained American Baptist pastor. I'm here to serve you as your guide to the story of Gideon. --. Dr. Ralph F. Wilson. About the leader.

The story of Gideon recounts the miracle working power of God to reverse a national tragedy. But it is a personal story, too, a story of emerging faith, of great courage, and of decisive leadership – as well as a story of human betrayal, weakness, and failure. In the process of studying the life this Bronze Age leader in Judges 6 to 8, we learn a number of spiritual truths common to disciples in all ages:

  • Learning to trust God, especially when you feel weak and inadequate,
  • Taking unpopular, but necessary stands,
  • Finding guidance from God to make difficult decisions about your future,
  • Experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit to empower you,  
  • Obeying even when you don’t understand God’s plan,
  • Keeping focused on the mission when distractions come, and
  • Leaving a spiritual legacy for those who follow you.

Even if you don’t understand much about the Old Testament, you’ll learn a lot in this four-week study. You’ll find your commitment strengthened and your faith growing. God will use this study to prepare you for things that lie ahead of you.

May God richly bless you as you begin to dig into the life of Gideon and pull out spiritual gold that will endure.

Introduction to Gideon and the Period of the Judges

  1. The Lord Is With You, Mighty Warrior (Judges 6:1-32)
  2. Gideon's Incredible Shrinking Army (Judges 6:33-7:14)
  3. The Sword of the Lord (Judges 7:15-8:21)
  4. Gideon's Tragic Mistake (Judges 8:22-8:35)

Handouts for Group Participants
Canaanite Religions and Baal Worship
Peoples of the Promised Land
Weapons in the Late Bronze Age
Paintings and Artwork of Gideon
Reprint Guidelines

I invite you to journey with me and thousands of brothers and sisters world-wide through a study of Gideon's life. Here's how we'll study together.

  • Each Saturday I'll e-mail you the lesson for the week. Then you'll read the Bible passage and use my notes to help you understand it better.
  • On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday you'll receive a question from that week's lesson to think about and answer. This is designed as a "total immersion" approach to Bible study, since I believe God wants to use it to work real and permanent change in your life. (You can opt out of the daily questions if you like, however, and just receive the weekly lessons.) You'll be thinking about these passages constantly over these weeks -- long enough for God to work his Word into your life and lifestyle.
  • You can respond to the questions and exercises using the Joyful Heart Bible Study Forum -- and read others' answers to reinforce your own understanding.
  • With each lesson you'll receive a link to a 20- to 30-minute audio teaching that sums up the passage you've been studying that week. Some who learn better from hearing than from reading really appreciate this.
  • Then on Saturday, I'll send you the next week's lesson.
Gideon: Discipleship Lessons from the Bronze Age, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Available in e-book formats.

Why don't you sign up today -- and then encourage some of your friends to sign up and study along with you. So far about 1,500 people have signed up for the study from about 64 countries.

Four-week Bible study

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Copyright © 2022, Ralph F. Wilson. <> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.