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by Wayne Blank
The Lord had the people of Israel subjected to the Midianite invasions because they had forsaken Him (any nation that truly pleases The Lord has nothing to fear from anybody - unfortunately no such nation exists today):
"And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of The Lord: and The Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds." (Judges 6:1-2 KJV)
When The Lord saw that they had enough of a hard lesson, He sent them a prophet to remind them where their homeland security came from if they truly obeyed Him:
"And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto The Lord because of the Midianites, That The Lord sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith The Lord God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land [see "Land On Which You Had Not Labored", also Eminent Domain]; And I said unto you, I am The Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice" (Judges 6:7-10 KJV)
An angel of The Lord then appeared to Gideon to inform him that he had been chosen to lead a token force (Gideon had mustered a force of 32,000 but The Lord told him to go to battle with only 300 i.e. Judges 7:3,7) of Israelites that, with The Lord's help, would run the invaders out of their land:
"And The Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites" (Judges 6:16 KJV)
After a demonstration of The Lord's miraculous power (Judges 6:19-22), Gideon built an altar there and named it Jehovah-shalom, Jehovah peace, because The Lord was about to give them back the peace that He had taken away:
"Then the angel of The Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of The Lord departed out of his sight. And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of The Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of The Lord face to face."
Fact Finder: What is the origin of "Jehovah" as a Name for The Lord?