From Eternity Past


The Sad Story of Continual Backsliding

The king of Mesopotamia, the king of Moab, and after them the Philistines, and the Canaanites of Hazor led by Sisera, in turn became oppressors of Israel. Othniel, Shamgar, Ehud, Deborah, and Barak were raised up as deliverers of their people. But again “the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian.” EP 393.2

The Midianites had been nearly destroyed by the Israelites in the days of Moses, but they had since become numerous and powerful. They thirsted for revenge, and now that the protecting hand of God was withdrawn from Israel, the opportunity had come. The whole land suffered from their ravages. Like a devouring plague they spread over the country. They came as soon as the harvests began to ripen, and remained until the last fruits had been gathered. They stripped the fields of their increase, and robbed and maltreated the inhabitants. The Israelites dwelling in the open country were forced to seek refuge in fortresses or even find shelter in caves among the mountains. For seven years this oppression continued. Then, as the people in their distress confessed their sins, God again raised up a helper for them. EP 393.3

To Gideon came the divine call to deliver his people. He was engaged at the time in threshing wheat. Not daring to beat it out on the ordinary threshing floor, he had resorted to a spot near the winepress. The season of ripe grapes being still far off, little notice was now taken of the vineyards. As Gideon labored in secrecy, he sadly pondered the condition of Israel and how the oppressor's yoke might be broken. EP 393.4