And the LORD said unto Gideon, "The people that are with thee are too many
for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt (boast in)
themselves against Me saying, 'Mine own hand hath saved me.'"
God is a jealous God and He enjoys showing us how BIG and MIGHTY He really is. He wants to fight for us! Exodus 14:14 says, The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. God can take care of you and God can take care of me. We do not need to get caught up in the numbers of it all.
So, God starts putting Gideon's army through a series of tests and when He is done there will be NO POSSIBLE WAY Gideon and his men can defeat their enemy! It's going to take God to pull them through this battle to get the victory! That's what God wants...so we can trust Him and rely on Him. He was teaching Gideon and his army a very valuable lesson that would serve them well, and not only those men but all who read this passage of scripture.
The first test is God eliminates fear. He says tell anyone who is scared to go back home. God cannot work with fear, He operates in faith. Gideon tells those who are fearful and afraid they can leave and 22,000 men pack their bags and head home. The army is reduced to 10,000 soldiers and God said that was still too many men!
Next God eliminates the non-observant. God calls us to watch and be sober. He instructs Gideon to take the men to the water and have them take a drink. Some of the men put their hand to their mouth to take a drink, but the rest bowed down on their knees to drink. God picks the ones who brought their hand to their mouth and that was only 300 men! That's all, just 300 men stayed and 9,700 men were sent back home!
God kept His Word and delievered the Midianites into the hands of Gideon's army! It would be foolish for those men to claim the credit for this win. It was by the strength of God alone and His directions that the battle was won.
You see it was never a numbers game. God wanted to show the army what He could do. He wanted to help them see that when they serve Him and lean on Him, He will get them through the toughest battles.
Maybe you look at life as a popularity contest. You want as many "friends" as you can get on Facebook. You want a large following on Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites. You want thumbs up, clicks, likes, shares, and you feel that if you don't have as many as the next person then you are not good enough. Maybe you are never picked to help with group projects or sports activities in P.E. at school. You may be the person who eats lunch alone, never feeling like you have anything to say that is worth hearing. Maybe you don't even feel like you matter. You feel invisible. I have some good news for you...you are worth more than diamonds!
God loves you with an everlasting love. He sent His only Son Jesus to die on a cruel, old rugged cross to pay for the sins you committed. He gave His life's blood to set you free. You may feel like you are up against an army that is as numerous as the sands of the sea, like Gideon (verse 12) but God is greater than your need. He has the answer to all of your problems. Trust Him. Let Him take you through this battle, helping you see your worth, and ask Him to use you to help those around you. You see, God picked Gideon to lead this army. He helped all of the men in the battle but He used Gideon, one man, to lead the way. Gideon followed God's orders and did as He was instructed. As a result, all of the 300 men were victorious. It wasn't Gideon's victory, it was the entire army's victory.
In verse 20 it says they all cried "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon." They knew who was going to help them through. They put God first. They proclaimed it loud! Maybe you need to proclaim The sword of the LORD and of (insert your name)! Read the end of the book of Revelations. God's people win! He wins! God will bring you the victory too. He is bringing me victory in so many different areas of my life and I am going to use today's message for strength to get me through another battle!
I Corinthians 15:57-58
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding
in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.