Gideon’s Army

impossibleOne of my favorite people in the Bible is Gideon. Gideon was reticent to confront and reluctant to lead, as evidenced by the circumstances surrounding the first mention of his name in the scriptures: working at night in a literal hole in the ground so as not to be seen or heard.  Gideon was doubtful of what he was capable of doing for God, as evidenced by his now-famous practice of “putting out a fleece”.  Gideon was not fully comfortable walking by faith and not by sight, as evidenced by God’s winnowing the warriors under his command from 22,000 to 300.

The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’  Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’”  So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.  But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men.” …  The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands.  Let all the others go home.” Judges 7:2-4, 7

In our men’s study, the author explains why God used, and still uses, people like Gideon:

He wanted His people to realize that it was the power of God, and not their own strength, that was saving their nation. – Patrick Morley (How God Makes Men, p. 61)

That is why I like Gideon so much: he serves as the poster-child for all those in hopeless situations. God used him to deliver victory over the Midianites – an army of 300 conquering a force of 135,000.  Gideon is a prime example of the reality that God can accomplish what we consider impossible.

We all face impossible situations and we all have times when we are tempted to lose our resolve: “I will never be able to get out of debt”, “my marriage will never recover from this”, “a cure will never be discovered”, or “there will never be another opportunity like the one I just lost”. It is times like this and circumstances like these that we need to remember Gideon, and the God who delivered Gideon despite the most unlikely of odds.  God did what seemed impossible then and, since God has not changed, He can still do what seems impossible today.

All we need to do is follow Gideon’s lead. He allowed God to fight his battle, to secure the victory, to do the impossible.  Whatever God wants to accomplish through you He will accomplish through you, no matter how ridiculous it sounds to hear it. He longs for us, with our limited resources and limited perspective, to repeat the battle cry of Gideon: “The Lord has given [the victory] into your hands.”

“When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up!  The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands.”” Judges 7:15

Nothing is impossible with God. God is able to bring about the victory over any foe.  Wherever you are, whatever you face, remember that the Lord is with you, mighty warrior.


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