The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
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 themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
Gideon was in an almost impossible situation; as a result of their disobedience to the laws of God, the nation Israel was conquered and harshly ruled by Midian for seven years. Because of the terrible treatment by the hands of the Midianites the people of Israel made themselves dens in the mountains, caves and strongholds hiding from their oppressors. It was so bad that the Midianites …destroyed the increase of the earth… (Judges 6:4) leaving the Israelites to starve. On top of all that these Midianites absconded with all Israel’s livestock. Israel was in a bad way.
They cried to the Lord and the Lord heard them. God called Gideon to lead Israel to overthrow the iron grip of the Midianites. Israel’s physical hope rested in their numbers.
They had 32,000 men. But the Lord said that was too many, so in Judges 7:3, He told Gideon to tell the men: Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart… 22, 000 did. That was still too many. So, the Lord had Gideon test the men. They came to a place with water where the Lord set up a test. Some of the men lapped up the water like a dog, others, 300 to be exact, carefully put their hand in the water, cupped their hand, filled it with water, and brought it up to their mouth. These men were careful, by doing this they could keep their eye out for the enemy. These 3oo men were chosen by God to fight against Midian.
From 32,000 strong, to 300. Well, you know the story, when these men cried out The sword of the Lord and of Gideon (Judges 7:20) a battle commenced and Israel won the day. They trounced the Midianites. In an earlier paragraph it was noted that their physical hope was in strength of numbers, but their spiritual hope was their strength in One. One God, their God who gave Gideon this promise: And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. Judges 6:16
God did deliver in the face of impossible odds. Yes, Gideon was in a bad situation, but God was with him and the Lord God of Heaven made all the difference. He was the strength of Israel and He won the victory for His people. Why? Why did all this happen? Why was Israel worn down to nothing; why did their army reduce to only 300; why? The Bible tells us why: …lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. In this situation God wanted Israel to know that He and He alone was their only hope for salvation. It worked…for a while.
So, if you find yourself in an almost impossible situation it may be that your Father in Heaven has allowed it so that He can deliver and you can see Him afresh and anew as your loving, powerful, and able Lord God. When the worst happens and you think there is no hope, look up, for the Lord may have allowed that situation so that He can once again be your Hero, your deliverer, your strength, your… well as Paul put it in I Corinthians 15:28 …that God may be all in all.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.