Gideon Becomes a Warrior
March 13 - Nº 72 Judges 7; 8:22-23
God had miraculously proven His presence and power to Gideon. It was time for Gideon to trust Him and get on with the task God had for him—to lead the Israelites to victory over the Midianites. So, early in the morning, Gideon and 32,000 men of Israel gathered to go to war. But God intervened. “You have too many men,” He told Gideon. “The Israelites will say, ‘We won this victory with our own strength.’ Tell them, ‘If you are scared, go home now!’” Gideon did as God said, and 22,000 men left that day! But 10,000 men were still too many for God’s purpose. He instructed Gideon to go down to the water and watch the men carefully. “Notice those who use their hands to bring the water to their mouth and lap like a dog,” God told him. “Separate them from the ones who kneel down.” Then God said, “With the men who used their hands, I will save Israel. Let all the others go home.” Only 300 men remained. They camped that night on a hillside above the Midianite army. During the night, God said to Gideon, “I want you to sneak down into the Midianite camp. If you’re afraid take your servant with you. Listen to what the soldiers are saying.” So Gideon and his servant went. The enemy soldiers were as thick as locusts, and they had so many camels they could not be counted. Gideon overheard a man telling a friend about a dream he just had. He said, “I saw a loaf of barley bread rolling into our camp, and it totally destroyed our tent.” His friend said, “I know what this means. Something small and insignificant is going to destroy our camp. That loaf of bread is Gideon with his sword. God is giving the entire Midianite army over to him. He will destroy us!” Gideon was encouraged. He bowed down and worshiped God. He returned to camp and said, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianites into your hands.” He divided the 300 men into three companies and gave each man a trumpet and a jar with a torch in it. He said, “Watch me and do what I do.” They took up positions around the hill. Gideon and his company blew their trumpets and broke their jars. Immediately the other two groups did the same thing. They began shouting, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” The Midianites were startled. They panicked and tried to run. With swords drawn in the darkness, they started attacking each other, thinking they were killing the Israelites. The camels added to the chaos. All this time the Israelites were standing on the hill holding trumpets and torches. As the Midianites tried to escape, Gideon sent messages to the rest of the men of Israel. They rushed to the Jordan River to stop the escaping army. Gideon pursued the fleeing troops until all the enemy kings were dead. Midian was no longer a threat to Israel. The Israelites wanted to make Gideon their king, but he refused. He said, “The Lord will rule over you.” Then the land had peace for 40 years.
Do you take the time to notice the little things God does to encourage you and prepare you for bigger adventures with Him? Just as He allowed Gideon to overhear a conversation that gave him confidence, He provides us with support and affirmation so that we will trust Him at an even deeper level.