Following a forty year rest from oppression, the Israelites again turned from God. The principle of those who forget history are doomed to repeat it held true for Israel. God delivered them to the Midianites, who were greatly oppressive to them. The Midianites were nomadic wanderers. Crops and livestock were destroyed and the people were greatly impoverished.
After a period of seven years, an angel brought the message from God to Gideon to save Israel from the Midianites. Gideon questioned his ability to lead the Israelites because of his own weaknesses. The angel convinced him to take on that responsibility of service to his people. His name was changed to Jerubbaal after he had destroyed the altar of the god, Baal.