The time of the Judges in Israel was a time when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” much like today. The Israelites would sin against the Lord and He would allow someone to oppress them. Then they would return to obedience and the Lord would rescue them.
One of these occasions was during the lifetime of a young man named Gideon. There are many parallels, or foreshadows, of the Tribulation in the story of Gideon.
“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.” – Judges 6:1
“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 6:2
And all men “hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;” – Revelation 6:15An angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and told him that he, Gideon, would save Israel. Gideon asked how this could be because his family was poor and he was the least in his family. (Judges 6:15-16) This is a foreshadow of tiny Israel against all the nations of the world as they gather to surround Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:2)
The Lord told Gideon that He would be with him, and it was certainly true because Gideon raised an army of 32,000 men. (Judges 7:3) But that was too many. Under the Lord’s direction, the army of Gideon was reduced to 300 men. You probably know the story.
But the enemy covered the valley below like grasshoppers. Again, this is reminiscent of the prophecy of Zechariah 14:2 where the armies of the world will gather against Israel.
“And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.” – Judges 7:12Gideon and his 300 men struck at the beginning of the midnight watch (an interesting prophetic time). In confusion, the enemy began fighting among themselves. And this is a foreshadow of what will happen at the end of the Tribulation, as prophesied by Zechariah.
“And the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the army.” – Judges 7:22
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.” – Zechariah 14:13Gideon’s miraculous victory follows in the pattern of Abraham’s victory with 318 men. He defeated the four kings of the land that later became known as Babylon. (Genesis 14:1-16) And this pattern will again be repeated in the Day of the Lord. Praise Him! Praise His name always!