Sunday, December 11, 2016

Jesse Tree - Day 11: Gideon

Our online Jesse Tree is to help us prepare for Christ's coming by studying His roots and Salvation History. 

Jesse Trees follow the same general outline but I've found they are widely varied in some of the details. Some may have one day for Moses, others may spend 4 days on different aspects of his life. I'll be following the basic outline but, therefore, using my own discretion in a few spots.

My sources for days and symbols are Catholic CultureLoyola PressFaith Magazine, and A few beads short.  

Day 11: Gideon

Symbols: clay water pitcher, torch,

Gideon Chooses His 300, James Tissot
Gideon's story begins with a familiar pattern. After being saved and brought into the Promised Land, time passed, and the people fell back into their old, sinful ways. Sometimes, God lets you reap what you sow so that you can see the error of your ways. In this case, he withdraws his protection and ... whoosh! ... in come the Midianites for some of that land of milk and honey.

God, of course, is merciful and hearing his people's pleas, he raises up a hero in the way that so often happens, by picking most unlikely guy around - Gideon. A poor farmer who, like Moses, at first protests that he isn't worthy or capable, Gideon leads a picked force of 300 to defeat 100,000 Midianites. Sneaking up with torches hidden under water pitchers, they surprised the people so much that many of them began fighting among themselves. The victory was a total rout.

What better way to be reminded that when there is victory, it is through God? We can't depend on ourselves alone.

I love Gideon best for the story of how many times he asked God for reassurance using a sheep's fleece and dewfall. I can totally relate to that brand of skepticism. God's patience with Gideon is something I've experienced myself. On a much lesser level, of course.

Gideon thanks God for the Miracle of the Dew, Maarten van Heemskerck, 1550

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