And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite…
Gideon, observe, was not unwilling to go forward in the cause of God and God's people; on the contrary, he was most ready to do so; but without an outward call he never would have taken the lead. Nevertheless, when the call was repeated and so made plain, no account was made of difficulties. In full view of them Gideon determined to obey. Now he evidently had no suspicion yet of the supernatural character of his visitor. It was not, therefore, any sign from heaven that compelled him to crush down his hesitation. It was the inward voice of conscience, awakened by what he believed to be an ordinary communication from God, that led him on. He asked, indeed, for a sign from heaven, but it was to strengthen him to keep his resolution, not to enable him to form it. Here was the true spirit of faith. Here was the root of the success that came so gloriously afterwards. Submission, consent when once God's will is known; resolution to do that will in spite of difficulties — that is the spirit to which signs are given; that is the spirit by which success is won. The man or the Church that makes visible success, or signs of any kind, a condition of bending all their energy to the doing of God's will, is not among those by whom deliverance is wrought or the families of the earth blessed. To those who yield, like Gideon, to the will of God so soon as it is made clear, signs of acceptance and encouragement come thereafter, and often come with but small delay.
(W. Miller, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
WEB: The angel of Yahweh came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.