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The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.

When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” Judges 6:1-10.

This chapter is where we find the story of Gideon and how God called him. But that story is preceded by this visit from an unnamed prophet. He comes to rebuke the people and tell them why the Lord has left them at the mercy of the Midianites.

Gideon will make the case to the angel of the Lord that he is a nobody, and that his low status disqualifies him. But this mysterious prophet has primed the people. They know they have done wrong, and they are ready to be lead to take action.

The prophet God sends is not necessarily the leader who will win the battle. But he may be softening your heart for repentance.

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