If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. (Judges 7:2)

Thought:

Then the Spirit of the Lord took possession of Gideon… He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, summoning their warriors and all of them responded (Judges 6:34-35). Gideon amassed an army of 32,000 men to fight for the Lord against the Midianites and their allies whose armies numbered a staggering 135,000 warriors. They outnumbered the Israelites by just over 4-1. But the Lord then whittled the Israelite army down to only 300 men. Now the allied armies outnumbered Gideon’s men by 450-1! This story of Gideon is an extraordinary lesson in the power of the Lord. But also and perhaps more importantly, what is possible when you believe in the power of the Lord rather than counting solely on your own strength.

Word:

Judges 7:1-7 NLT

So Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon) and his army got up early and went as far as the spring of Harod. The armies of Midian were camped north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight. But the Lord told Gideon, “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not.” When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the Lord told him, “Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream.” Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream. The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.”

Goal:

It wasn’t only Gideon and his men who had faith that God was with them and would bring them through to victory. Crucially, the enemy allied army also believed in the power of the God of the Israelites to defeat them. Their belief in the might of Gideon’s Lord was so great that when the Midianites and their allies thought themselves surrounded by superior forces, they panicked, fought among themselves and ran away, handing Gideon his victory.
My Goal is simply to raise awareness of the power our God. The first step to changing people’s ideas about God is to show them what he can do. Even if they are not ready to follow his way and serve him, at least they can be shown what he does for those who believe in him.

Today’s readings:

Judges 7:1-8:17, Luke 23:13-43, Psalms 97:1-98:9, Proverbs 14:7-8

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