5. THOSE WHO DON'T LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT.
Judges 2:19 - "And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way."
The majority of the Israelites (like most people today) were slow learners. There are seven cycles recorded in Judges, cycles where the people went into sin, suffered for it, cried out to God in sorrow, and then God raised up a leader (a judge) to save them. And then the cycle started all over after the judge died. The people didn't learn.
6. DOING THE RIGHT THING IS NOT ALWAYS EASY, BUT IT MUST BE DONE EVEN IF YOU ARE AFRAID.
Judges 6:25-27 - "Now it came to pass the same night that the LORD said to him, 'Take your father's young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it; and build an altar to the LORD your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.' So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the LORD had said to him. But because he feared his father's household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night."
Gideon was a bit of a coward for only being willing to tear down the altar of Baal under the cover of darkness. But, we have to give him credit for doing the right thing, even if he was afraid. Some let fear of men prevent them from obeying God. This is unacceptable. We have no reason to fear men but every reason to fear God (cf. Matt. 10:28). Do the right thing, even when it is difficult.
7. FALSE GODS ARE POWERLESS.
Judges 6:31 - "But Joash said to all who stood against him, 'Would you plead for Baal? Would you save him? Let the one who would plead for him be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead for himself, because his altar has been torn down!'"
The men of the city were ready to kill Gideon since he destroyed the altar of Baal. But, Gideon's father (Joash) defends his son instead of his idol (cf. 6:25). Gideon's father is a real man. He knew Baal was powerless and he takes a stand against idolatry. His son's actions had helped bring him to his senses.
8. NUMBERS DO NOT NECESSARILY EQUAL STRENGTH.
Judges 7:2 - "And the LORD said to Gideon, 'The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, "My own hand has saved me."'"
The enemy's army numbered approximately 135,000 (cf. 8:10). Gideon's army initially numbered 32,000 (cf. 7:3), but that was too many! God didn't want them going into battle with that ratio. He knew that if they defeated an army that was only 4 times larger than themselves that they would think they had earned the victory on their own. Instead, God whittles the number down to 300 soldiers. He knew that when they defeated an army that was 450 times larger than themselves that they would properly credit Jehovah with the victory! The lesson for us is that numbers do not necessarily equate to strength. Serve God faithfully and anything is possible--anything (cf. Jer. 32:17; Eph. 3:20)!