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Similarities Between Gideon and Moses: The Midianites

As we wrap up our series on Gideon, I wanted to note two other figures Gideon reminded me of. We first looked at the parallels between Gideon and Moses in their tests of God. However, their stories connect in many more ways. Let’s look at the similarities between Gideon and Moses, particularly around the Midianites.

The Midianites

It intrigues me that Moses’ family by marriage later becomes Israel’s overwhelming enemy. Way back when Egypt held Israel captive, Moses lived among the Midianites and married the priest’s daughter (Exodus 2:15-22). Moses’ wife saved him from death by circumcising their son on their journey back to Egypt (Exodus 4:24-25). Later, Jethro advised Moses to delegate his mediating tasks to other Israelites so Moses had energy to fulfill his purpose (Exodus 18). It seems that the Israelites and the Midianites enjoyed a peaceful relationship due to Moses’ marriage. So, what changed in the time of the Judges?

Based on the NIV translation of the texts, it seems to me that Jethro knew and possibly worshipped God as the Israelites did. Otherwise, I don’t believe his daughter would have known to save Moses by the Abrahamic covenant. Regardless of Jethro’s original beliefs, he definitely believed in Exodus 18 when he heard of God’s miracles. However, by the time of the Judges, everyone had turned to worshipping idols (Judges 6). Neither the Midianites nor the Israelites respected the LORD who created them. Thus, both groups act out God’s punishment on the other for neglecting His authority.

Similarities between Gideon and Moses

Both Gideon and Moses struggled with confidence to fulfill God’s call on their life. Moses told God that he couldn’t talk well enough, so maybe he should send someone else to Pharaoh (Exodus 4:10-13). Gideon told God that he came from the least of the smallest tribe so he had no qualifications to lead a revolt (Judges 6:15). Despite Moses’ and Gideon’s insecurities, God used them both to free the Israelites from their bondage. God gave both men the ability to spiritually lead the Israelites. Moses gave the Israelites God’s commandments, and Gideon steered the Israelites back from idol worship.

The similarities between Gideon and Moses show us that God can use us despite our insecurities and anxieties. In fact, rather than slow us down, our weaknesses encourage others that God can use them, too.