Hope in the Bible: Gideon Wins the Battle

The Israelites have done evil in God’s eyes and been enslaved to the Midianites for seven years.  Crying out in despair the Lord hears their cries.  {Judges 6:1-2}

He chooses Gideon and tells him to go and save Israel.  {Judges 6:6-18}

When Gideon questions this, the Lord reassures him with the following promises:

A stranger appeared to Gideon
  • “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”  {Judges 6:12}
  • “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”  {Judges 6:14}
  • “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”  {Judges 6:16}
  • “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”  {Judges 6:23}

Gideon offered a sacrifice to the Lord upon his calling.  {Judges 6:20-24}  He then tears down his father’s altar to one of the gods and builds an altar to the living God. {Judges 6:24-25}

To be sure he is hearing correctly, Gideon test God.  One night asking his fleece to be the only thing with dew and the next night asking it be the only thing dry.  {Judges 6:36-40}  How many times are we like Gideon, testing the Lord to be sure we heard him correctly. I know I’m guilty of this more often than I’d like to admit.

…but God had him break it down to only a select 300

Gideon gathers the men for battle, but the Lord tells him he has too many men. “So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.”  {Judges 7:3}

Still there are too many men and he’s directed how to test them. 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 7:7}

Gideon only has three hundred men to fight the Midianites. To ease his fears, he sends Gideon down to the enemy camp and he overhears a dream recounted that he would take the whole camp. {Judges 7:9-16}

He divided his men into three camps and attacked, not with swords but the sound of the trumpet. “When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.”  {Judges 7: 22}

Gideon told his men they were in the battle for the Lord

Then the Israelites were called on to pursue the Midianites. {Judges 7:23}

Gideon obeyed the Lord, even when the orders seemed unlikely, and overtook and defeated the Midianites, who had been their captors for years. The Israelites found victory and freedom because of Gideon’s obedience.

Often, I’m like Gideon questioning the Lord and what he is asking me to do? But, we all have a choice. Are we going to be obedient and find victory?

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