For a few years at the time of the book of Judges, the people of Midian oppressed the people of Israel. Israel had wandered from God’s ways, so God gave them over to the evil people around them. God would then raise up judges to help Israel out of their suffering and apostasy. One of the men he raised up to be such a judge was a man named Gideon.
Gideon’s story is a great one (Judges 6-8)! God meets with Gideon face to face in the form of the Angel of the Lord, and prepares him to rescue the people from their oppressors. At first Gideon is afraid, describing himself as weak. God, however, describes him as a man of valor. Gideon didn’t have much faith in God’s word about that, and asked God for many signs to confirm what he had plainly told him. God patiently provided those signs to Gideon. Gideon then meekly attends to God’s work and destroys the altars of the foreign gods, Baal and Asherah. God then destroys the Midianite army with only Gideon and 300 men! Under his leadership, Israel, for a time, rejects the worship of the Baals, and returns to the worship of the one true God.
The victory of Gideon is that he trusted God’s word, and then led his people to do the same. Several thousand years later, a modern group of men have taken on Gideon’s name sake. If you’ve been in a hotel you know who they are. They are the Gideons. These men have trusted God’s word, and have made it a mission in their lives to deliver that word to as many people as possible. They are known most for leaving Bibles in hotel rooms where that trustworthy word of God can be found by someone who is lost and never heard it, or by someone who has heard it, but forgotten it. Though they are a relatively small body, their work is international, their reach global, and their impact eternal.
They are a group of ordinary men who have answered the call of God, and who are advancing his kingdom through getting his word out. God has raised such men up to answer the decline of nations with his word, and to rescue people from spiritual suffering and apostasy.