Why did God feel Gideon's army was too large? Why was shrinking the army's size to a tiny band essential in restoring Israel's faith and allegiance? What kinds of pressures would Gideon be feeling not to obey God in shrinking his army? How was Gideon able to obey God fully in this?
Why do we demand that God's directions make sense to us before we'll follow them? What's the spiritual danger here? We're afraid of being -- or being perceived as -- religious kooks. How can we balance blind obedience with getting confirmation through spiritual people whose discernment we trust?
Israel’s army was at Harod spring. This is at the bottom of the mountain called Gilboa. The army from Midian had camped across the valley called Jezreel. It was less than 5 miles from the Israelites. There were ‘too many people from Midian’. God told Gideon that there were ‘too many people’ in his army. He reduced 32 000 men to 10 000 men. In Deuteronomy 20:8, the writer said this: ‘Soldiers who are afraid must go home.’ Gideon’s army would have good morale (confidence) if his soldiers were not afraid. In verse 3, the mountain’s name is ‘Gilead’. ‘Gilboa’ is probably another name for this mountain. Gideon tested how the other men in the army drank. He chose those who drank water with their tongues. This seems a strange choice. Perhaps they used their hands as a dog uses its tongue. In this way, they got water, but they still stayed on their feet. They would be ready if something happened. The rest went down on their knees and they could not get up quickly. However, the important thing may be the number of people. What they did may not be so important.
[Eph 3:20 NLT] 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Gideons name new name Jerrabael given to him by the people was meant as a curse and God used it for his glory!
[1Ti 1:17 NLT] 17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
Jesus prayed for his people to be in unity.
Gideon encouraged the men with the story of the fleece.
Hold water in your hand takes focus and care. The Holy Spirit hosted the 300 men well.
To give God the glory takes careful thought and effort in everything we do. From honoring someone to eating our food, and to how we talk and live.
[2Ti 4:18 NLT] 18 Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
[1Pe 4:10-11 NLT] 10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
[Jde 1:24 NLT] 24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
Sometimes we are part of 300 and sometimes the 10,000, or 32,000. We must encourage each other.
God cannot allow Israel to take credit for the victory, or they'll restore their disastrous pattern of depending upon themselves and failing to rely upon the true God. Until Gideon came along it took seven years of oppression and poverty before they humbled themselves enough to "cry out to the LORD for help" (6:6).
In all cases, the question of whether this activity will bring me pleasure, material gain, or status should not be the deciding factor alone even for those who are free in Christ. Just as anything done without conviction is sin (Romans 14:23), Christians should not participate in anything they don't feel brings glory to God.
Though the Midianite army was vast, perhaps 135,000 or more (8:10), if Gideon's original army of 32,000 were to conqueror them they would be considered heroes in battle. Were his reduced army of 10,000 to conqueror them in spite of such great numerical superiority, the 10,000 would be acclaimed mighty men of valor.
But for 300 men to defeat an army of 135,000? Preposterous! That could only be considered a miracle, the intervention of God. Here is God's promise to encourage obedient Gideon on the eve of battle: "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands." (7:7)
In 6:14 the Lord tells Gideon that he will save Israel from the Midianites, but here it is clear who is doing the real saving -- the Lord. Nevertheless, it will be by Gideon's hand and instrumentality. God has found a man who will trust him enough to obey him even when things don't seem to make sense. And that kind of faith, dear friends, is a rare and precious find.
Thank you for another great day of Zoom Battle Prayer.