2-3 God said to Gideon, “You have too large an army with you. I can’t turn Midian over to them like this—they’ll take all the credit, saying, ‘I did it all myself,’ and forget about me.
16-18 He divided the three hundred men into three companies. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar, with a torch in the jar. He said, “Watch me and do what I do. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly what I do. When I and those with me blow the trumpets, you also, all around the camp, blow your trumpets and shout, ‘For God and for Gideon!'”
19-22 Gideon and his hundred men got to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after the sentries had been posted. They blew the trumpets, at the same time smashing the jars they carried. All three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands, ready to blow, and shouted, “A sword for God and for Gideon!” They were stationed all around the camp, each man at his post. The whole Midianite camp jumped to its feet. They yelled and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, God aimed each Midianite’s sword against his companion, all over the camp. They ran for their lives—to Beth Shittah, toward Zererah, to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. (passages from Judges 7)
I say this all the time, that I am amazed at how God can bring scripture, a passage in a book, a post from a blog into my life right at the moment at I need it. It’s been a tough week with looming decisions; well not tough, just the reality of the decisions and the uproar that some might cause have hit home to us. This will be a month filled with us making those decisions and dealing with the ramifications of the path that we have truly felt called to follow as a family in the coming year. How timely that I would read this passage this morning.
Gideon started with 32,000 soldiers. You know he was feeling secure in the job that the Lord had called him too. Obviously too much. So God told Gideon to cut down his army, so that the Lord might be glorified in the triumph. What was Gideon thinking? Did he just obey without hesitation, or did he think, “what are you doing Lord?” Maybe this first cut of soldiers didn’t really phase him, I mean he had 32,000 men! After this cut, his army was reduced to 10,000; still a workable number. Kind of like those decisions that we feel called to make that might rub us a bit out of our comfort zone, but not too badly. We will still be comfortable and will still feel like we have some control over the situation.
But again, the Lord told Gideon there were too many men. What is he thinking now? This time his army that started with 32,000 is reduced to 300…three hundred!! This is a point where I wonder if he stopped and thought maybe he should have left with that first group! These are decisions and paths where only God can prevail. A situation that seems impossible and where our ability to control is reduced to faith. But it’s a place where God can do amazing things. How better to move through a life where every part is a reflection of the times that God intervened and that is the only reason why you prevailed?
This is where we are as a family. We are sure of only one decision, but making that reduces our “army” to 300. It puts us back in a place where if we are to prevail, it will only be with the Lord’s intervention. It’s a good place, but it is a scary place.
But, I long to be like Gideon’s army, raising my torch up and watching the opposing world tuck it’s tail and run as the glory of the Lord moves through.