Combat Training with God – Judges 7:2-8

God Plus You > All The Known Universe

2 The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ 3 Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.'” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.

4 But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”

5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” 6 Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.

7 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.” 8 So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.

 Required Resolve

God is looking for a people who will trust in Him and gather their strength from Him.  When Gideon was tasked with convening the army that would destroy the Midianites, he sent for the fighting men of Israel.  They replied, but not all were up to the task.  God reduced the size of the army by giving the fearful an opportunity to bow out.  God wants us not only to show up, but to trust in Him and overcome our fear through our trust in Him.  We need to have resolved in our hearts that God will provide whatever we need, since God has called us to the task.

Solemn Selection

“Not all who are called are chosen.”  God then indicated that there were STILL too many people in Gideon’s army.  It is a shame to Israel that God would say that because they had so many people in the army that they would boast after victory that they had delivered themselves by their own hands.  God is looking for confident but humble people, knowing the true source of their strength and victory.

it is still amazing that after more than two-thirds of the gathered men went home, God declared there were still too many people!  How counter-intuitive this must have seemed to Gideon!  Usually the largest, best-trained, best-armed, best-prepared army wins the battle.  But God was letting Gideon know and understand that the battle did not belong to him, but rather, the battle belonged to the Lord:

“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.‘”

Divine Deliverance

After God thinned the army even further, he chose only three hundred men for Gideon’s army.  Gideon must have felt overwhelmed and afraid, even though he knew it was the Lord that had called him to this purpose.  God placed fear into the hearts of the Midianites, and they feared the name of Gideon. When the Midianites heard the trumpets and battle cry of Gideon’s army, they cried out in fear, and began to kill each other as they fled.

Gideon’s army of three hundred water-lapping soldiers didn’t have to lift a finger; all they had to do was stand strong in the face of the enemy.  And God delivered the Israelites from the Midianites, as the other Israelite men faithfully pursued the Midianites and destroyed them.  God also tells us:

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

A Qualifying Question

So let’s ask ourselves a question: Am I standing strong in the Truth, with complete trust in the Lord?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You provide for all of my needs.  Grant me strength today when opposition comes against me.  Remember me – act divinely on my behalf, that I may overcome all fear and valiantly take a stand for You.  Remember me in my weakness, and drive all fear from my heart, for there is no fear in perfect love.  Regardless of the foes against me, whether they surround me, or any emotional issues that I may experience, grant me peace in my heart that I may honor and glorify Your name in these battles.  This I ask in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

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