2015-08-17 - What Would Gideon Say?
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” (Judges 6:14-16 NIV)
I was threshing wheat, when I came face to face with an angel. Here I was doing manual labor, and an angel tells me I am a mighty warrior, and that God is with me. I heeded the angel’s words, and left the farming profession, to save the Israelites against the Midianites. At that point, I had no experience as a leader, so I waited for a sign from the Lord, before making any decisions.
The people of Gideon were in trouble. They were being attacked, and defeat was imminent. God told me not to fear these men, and that we’d win. I believed what God said, even though it sounded impossible. God knew the magnitude of the situation, and told me not to be afraid.
Before we could defeat the Midianites, our army had to downsize. Anyone who was afraid to fight was given permission to go home. Twenty-two thousand left, while 10,000 unafraid men stayed. The Lord told me there were still too many fighters, so He would let me know which man should stay, and which should go.
Finally, God’s army was dwindled down to 300 men. If there were so many rivals, why had God dropped down our number? I received no answer. In the middle of the night, God directed me to spy out the enemies’ camp. I overheard a Midianite recalling a dream he had. The dream was about how I would take the Midian camp! I hadn't even asked God for a sign yet, but He provided me one. I returned to our camp and gathered the troops to attack.
My men were divided into three groups. Each carried a trumpet and an empty jar. When we got to the edge of the Midian’s camp, all the troops followed my command. We blew our trumpets and broke the jars, and proclaimed the swords on behalf of God and myself, His mighty warrior. The Midians were so confused. They ran away. Some even fought each other. I did as God commanded, and God did just what He said. Israel was victorious!
The battle was won against the Midianites, who didn’t appear strong at all; they just ran away, crying. All this effort for a bunch of crybabies! Midian never recovered from the loss, and thankfully, the land stayed peaceful for 40 years.
All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.