Judges 6:11-24

The Lord chooses Gideon

11 The Lord's angel came to sit under a big oak tree in Ophrah. It belonged to Joash, from Abiezer's clan. When the angel arrived, Joash's son Gideon was threshing wheat. He was doing it in a winepress because he wanted to hide his food from the Midianites. 12 The Lord's angel appeared to Gideon. He said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, brave fighter.’ 13 Gideon replied, ‘But sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this trouble happened to us? Our ancestors told us about all the great things that the Lord did for them. They told us how he brought them safely out of Egypt. But the Lord has not helped us like that. He has turned away from us. He has put us under the power of the Midianites.’

6:12Gideon was afraid and hid from the Midianites. But God's angel called him a ‘brave fighter’. The Lord would help Gideon to be strong and brave.

14 The Lord himself then said to Gideon, ‘Go now and use the strength that you have. Rescue Israel from the power of the Midianites. I myself am sending you to do this.’

15 Gideon said, ‘But sir, how can I rescue Israel? Look at me! My clan is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh. And I am the youngest person in my family.’

16 The Lord answered him, ‘Understand that I will be with you! You will destroy the Midianites as if they were only one man.’

17 Gideon replied, ‘If you are pleased with me, please do something special. I want to know that you really are the Lord who is speaking to me. 18 Please stay here so that I can bring a gift for you.’ The Lord answered, ‘I will stay here until you come back.’

19 Gideon went home and he cooked a young goat. He also used an ephah of flour to make some flat bread. He put the meat in a basket and he put the soup in a pot. He took the food to the one who was sitting under the oak tree.

20 God's angel said to him, ‘Put the meat and the bread on this rock. Pour the soup over them.’ Gideon did what the angel told him to do. 21 Then the Lord's angel touched the meat and the bread with the end of the stick that he held in his hand. Fire came from the rock and it burnt up the meat and the bread. Then the Lord's angel disappeared.

22 Gideon realized that he had been talking to the Lord's angel. He cried out, ‘Oh no! Almighty Lord, I have seen your angel, face to face.’

23 But the Lord said to him, ‘Do not worry. Do not be afraid. You will not die because of this.’

6:23Gideon thought that he would die because he had seen God. The angel told Gideon that he must not be afraid. He accepted the gift that Gideon gave him.

24 So Gideon built an altar there to give honour to the Lord. He called it ‘The Lord is Peace’. The altar is still there, in Ophrah, on the land of Abiezer's clan.