065AR - Gideon

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

From “In the Midst of Thee” – volume 1.

Welcome to a New Year! I trust you survived. For those of you working hard now on your New Year’s resolutions, may I share a key – and note this – a key to success with you? It is found inside the story of Gideon, the mighty warrior of Israel’s past. Now here’s the story:

A people called the Midianites had conquered Israel and destroyed their land, leaving them with little food. The Lord came to a young man, a farm-boy named Gideon, and called him to free Israel. Gideon humbly protested the Lord’s choice, not feeling worthy, but the Lord made it known to him that he was indeed the man chosen to free Israel.

Well, Gideon subsequently gathered an army of 32,000 men to go to war against the Midianites and drive them out of the land. But the Midianites came into the land with an army of 135,000 men.

Now get this: The Lord then spoke to Gideon and told him he had too many men.

Yeah, that’s right, ‘too many men!’ Now, the way I figure it, the odds were 4 to 1 against Gideon, and the Lord says he has too many men?

Well, obediently, Gideon steps forward and asks his assembled troops how many of them are afraid to go into battle. 22,000 men raise their hands, and Gideon sends them home. He is now left with an army of 10,000 against an army of 135,000. That makes the odds approximately 13 to 1.

Yet still, the Lord says to Gideon, ‘you have too many.’

He then reduces Gideon’s army to a measly 300 men. Now get it: The odds are now 450 to 1.

The Lord says to Gideon “…By the three hundred…will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand…” (Judges 7:7)

Why? The Lord does not waste words or time or effort. There had to be a reason for this. Why does He do this to Gideon? The story continues:

Gideon takes his 300 men and divides them into 3 companies, giving each man a lantern, a trumpet, and a pitcher – like for holding water. Late that night after the Midianites have gone to bed, Gideon’s men come down off the mountain and they surround the Midianite camp.

Suddenly at Gideon’s signal, each man breaks his pitcher, waves his lantern, blows his trumpet, and shouts, “…The sword of the Lord, and [of] Gideon.” (Judges 7:20)

And can you imagine – can you imagine the chaos that exploded in the Midianite camp? They bailed out of bed in stark terror grabbing their swords as they ran. While Gideon and his men make all the noise and commotion they can, the Midianites in the darkness and confusion can’t tell a friend from a foe, and they start running around and killing each other.

When it’s all over, 135,000 Midianites are driven and dead, and Israel if free. So grateful are the Lord’s people that they offer to make Gideon and his sons kings. But he declines. He does lead Israel, however, in peace and righteousness for the next 40 years. Gideon became a legend in Israel.

Now my question: Why did the Lord reduce Gideon’s number?

Answer: Because it had to be with Gideon as it must be with us. We must know, as Gideon had to know, that our victories in the large and small battles of life are fought and won by the Lord, not us!

My friend, you cannot win alone! Whether it be the small battle of a habit, or the major war against the natural man, victory will come to those warriors, and only to those warriors, who rely on the Lord of Host, the God of battles.

May the Lord bless you.

Based on Judges 6-8
Glenn Rawson – December 1999
Music: Gideon – Deanne Casperson
Song: Amazing Things – Julie de Azevedo