Grace For Your Day April 10

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Gideon’s battle over the Midianites in the Book of Judges. If you have never it before, it is found in Judges 7:1-9, 15-23 where it says:

Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him, rose early and camped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.
The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’ Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’” So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.
Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.” Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water. The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.” So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands. And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley. 
Now the same night it came about that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands…” He divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers. He said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’ 
So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled. When they blew 300 trumpets, the Lord set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. The men of Israel were summoned from Naphtali and Asher and all Manasseh, and they pursued Midian.

The reason I love that story so much is because it is a wonderful demonstration of trust on the part of Gideon because the Lord told him to make his army smaller, not larger. He told him to minimize it, not increase it in anticipation for the battle with Midian. Every solider knows that you do not want to do that to an army. You always want to make it bigger so that there will be strength in numbers.

However, the Lord advised him to do the opposite because He said that He wanted to keep the Israelites from telling themselves that “My own power has delivered me.” In other words, He did it in order to humble them. The Lord did not want them to become proud when they received the victory. He wanted all the glory to go to Himself but the point is that Gideon acted this way because he had faith. Even though the Lord’s command might have seemed strange to him at the time, Gideon believed in Yahweh and the Lord did an amazing miracle as a result which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

This Sunday, we are going to talk about the faith of Gideon because the Hall of Faith mentions him next when it says:

And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight (Hebrews 11:32-34).
As the author is going through this chapter, he comes to a place where he mentions several people back-to-back in order to remind us that men like Gideon did not conquer kingdoms and perform acts of righteousness by their own strength. They did it on account of the Lord because Gideon knew that it is not the size of an army that wins the battle but it is the size of an army’s God. Israel had a much bigger God than Midian did and that is why they won.

How big is your God today? Is He large enough to defeat the enemies that you face? Can He triumph over the evil forces that work against you? The Bible says that He can but you need to trust Him. He will give you the victory but you need to come to Him in faith just like these men did. It my prayer that this weekend’s sermon will help you do that.

– Jeremy Cagle