Let’s backtrack a little to get up to speed.
Gideon is one of the greatest heroes of the Bible. Yet he certainly has attributes with which we can identify.
If you ever feel discouraged, take a look at Gideon. If you ever feel small and insignificant, you might also take a look at Gideon.
Gideon is the youngest member of the “least” family of Manasseh, and as such, has no regard among his peers. An unimportant, unnoticeable individual. And that’s the way he sees himself.
Yet there is something about Gideon which arouses God’s attention.
We first see him as an angel appears to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.”(6:13). (Remember, our Lord speaks things into existence. At the moment, Gideon does not appear as a valiant warrior).
The salutation elicits an explosion of frustration from Gideon. “If God is with us, why this and why that?” Have you ever felt that way? Of course, you have. All of us have.
However, God is ready to make a big move – and Gideon is just the man for the job. Our God doesn’t see as man sees. Man always wants to go to the high, the mighty, and the connected to get their job done. God goes after a heart which is willing to obey Him – and He seems to specialize in going to the “least.”
So Gideon tears down the altar of Baal, and there is no turning back!
If you are going to tear down the altars of idols, you’d better be ready to follow through with the alternative, and Gideon is ready. He is renamed “Jerubbaal” which means “Let Baal contend against him.” The Israelites now have their eyes focused on Gideon.
A huge crowd of men assemble for battle, but God rejects them. He doesn’t want men thinking that they are the ones to win the battle, so he calls for those who are afraid, to leave. 22,000 leave, with 10,000 remaining, but the Lord still says there are too many.
God wants an unmistakable claim to this victory coming up, so He calls them to do something absolutely impossible. He has Gideon bring the men to the water and watch how they drink. Everyone who laps like a dog, stays; everyone who kneels to drink, putting their heads down, have to go home.
Only 300 men survive the test, and God is requiring something totally impossible. A huge army, as “numerous as locusts” and camels as “numerous as sand on the seashore” awaits this tiny group. It’s impossible.
But God has a plan. The 300 are to hold a trumpet in one hand, and a torch, covered by a pitcher in the other. They are to, at the signal, break the pitchers, exposing the light, and blow the trumpets – all at the same time as they run toward the enemy. Fear overtakes the opposing armies, and they flee.
The rest of the Jews are called to finish the job, and Israel is delivered from the Philistines.
There are tons of lessons we can learn from this story. Of course, nothing is impossible with God, when we are walking in obedience.
Further, if God calls us to do something, we can do it through Him. We may think that we can’t because of our position in life, or our lack of education, or our lack of funds.
Yet, with God, truly all things are possible.
“I am willing!” We can’t hear this word enough in our society.
There is a tendency for people to say, “If it be Thy will, please heal me.” I don’t see in the ministry of Jesus where it was ever God’s will for people not to be healed. He healed all who came to Him in faith.
I really don’t understand why that error has gotten into the church. I guess when we don’t see things happen, we try to explain them away.
I would much rather go to the Word of God and prayer and get the answers. I know there are delays sometimes, but i never consider them to be the fault of God.
If we could ever “get it” that His love for us is beyond human imagination. His goodness is perfect. And His will is always to heal and restore, then we would have the faith we need.
There are times when any of us feel overwhelmed by the atmosphere of doubt around us – which tries to invade our minds. That’s when it’s important to draw aside to the Lord, and spend time with Him.
In those times if we would just praise Him and worship Him. Then let his Word restore our minds.
He has all the answers – and power to bring his will into our lives. His good, perfect will. We just have to reach for it.