Gideon was a man of contradictions, yet God chose him to lead Israel against the Midianites. Here the judge and general begins his campaign with an army of 30,000. And in another of God’s seeming ironies, He tells Gideon his army is “too big.”
So those who are afraid of the coming battle are relieved of their duties and sent to the rear. He now faces the host of Midian with 10,000 men. Judges 7 relates, “4 But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.’ 5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” 6 Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.”
So Gideon now has command of 300 men. But, I thought there was safety in numbers? Here again we see that God’s ways are not our ways. Gideon divides his men into 3 units. Each is given a horn and a hidden torches. “They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. 22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.”
Safety was not in numbers, but in the Lord. Strength was not in swords, but in wisdom and cunning. Victory was not Gideon’s but God’s.
Where are we putting our trust today?