Metaphysical meaning of Gideon (mbd)
Gideon (A.V., Hebrews 11:32, Gedeon), g;d'-e-on (Heb.)--cutter-o; mutilator, destroyer; tree feller; impetuous warrior.
Abraham "dwelt by the oaks of Mamre." Even so, "the angel of Jehovah" who came to Gideon "sat under the oak," and Gideon presented food to him there. An oak tree in itself stands for something very strong and protective; but in the Hebrew language it has a deeper significance than this. The word comes from the root from which is derived the word Elohim. The text, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty," contains the spiritual interpretation of dwelling under an oak "
Gideon, we read, was "beating out wheat" (dividing the true from the false) when "the angel of Jehovah appeared unto him" and said, "Jehovah is with thee." Gideon's answer to his heavenly visitor seems a natural one: "Oh, my lord, if Jehovah is with us, why then is all this befallen us?" It is what millions of hearts have asked since the days of Gideon. We read that "Jehovah looked upon him" (brought him into His own presence) and said to him: "Surely I will be with thee...Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die." This reminds us of the wonderful words of the Hebrew blessing: "Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Only the peace that is of God can keep in man's heart and mind the knowledge of God's protective power.
God also said to Gideon, "Go in this thy might." The angel said to Mary, "The power of the Most High shall overshadow thee." That power, we know, was the Holy Spirit. "I can of myself do nothing," but "with God all things are possible."
The enemy against whom Gideon waged war was Midian, which means strife or contention. To many people there is no other enemy that is so difficult to kill. Petty quarrels, jealousies, uncharitable thoughts--how they come back again and again! They can never be overcome except by positive denial made in the realization that no error has any power or reality of itself. This form of denial, with an assurance of the power and love of God, will overcome all strife. The Midianites must be exterminated before we can possess the Promised Land in its entirety. We must "smite the Midianites as one man," as impersonal evil, and consider even that as a claim that never was and never shall be.
In Judges 2:16-18 and in Judges 7:2-8 is a lesson in the development of judgment. In these days many are worshipping or giving allegiance to materiality--to other gods than Jehovah; instead of being true to divine judgment, "they hearkened not unto their judges."
From thirty-two thousand men Gideon (cutter-off, destroyer, signifying denial) selected only three hundred with which to overcome the Midianites, because Gideon was working under the inspiration of divine judgment. Therefore it was revealed to him that the forces that he was to use must have the power of discrimination and judgment.
The act of getting down on the hands and knees and drinking from the brook indicates a lack of discrimination. People who are thus lacking mentally drink in everything that comes their way, and thereby load their minds with all sorts of thoughts--good, bad, and indifferent. Those who are represented as dipping the water up in their hands and drinking it use discrimination. They think about what they are doing, and are safe executives.
Dividing the three hundred into three companies represents the sending forth of the word in spirit, mind, and body. The trumpets represent the power of the word, and the torches concealed in the pitchers represent spiritual intelligence.
The trained metaphysician applies the law of denial by first meditating upon a central thought of spiritual judgment; then he realizes that spiritual judgment is throwing its spiritual light into his mind and dissipating all darkness and ignorance. He then speaks the word of victory, Truth destroys error, and Jehovah reigns.