back to Gideon . . .
Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. 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.__Judges 7:1-2
Gideon has gathered an army to deliver Israel from the hands of the Midianites. I imagine that Gideon told them of God ‘s promise of victory and the signs that he had received. Gideon’s faith has budded and successfully struggled to break through the hard ground of oppression. We can now see the head of a “mighty man of valour.” Gideon has confidence that God can use him to secure the victory as he is now a leader to 22,000 men! But God is the strategist behind this campaign. And God tells Gideon to issue a proclamation that whomever is fearful and afraid should leave. Gideons’ numbers are reduced to 10,000. A favorite tool of satan, fear, is at enmity with God.
And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: . . . ..__ Judges 7:4
So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. Judges 7:5-7
I must admit that I am curious about God’s method of selecting the 300, the lappers. Some say that the “lappers” were fully engaged as they put their faces to the water. Others say that those who knelt and drank from their hands had their other hand on their swords and were therefore ever alert. Both views could be correct because God has said that He will not share the glory of this victory with Israel. NOTE: It is the nature of Our Holy Father to subtract to increase (tithing principle); to “pour out” to fill ( the faith filled widow) ; and as demonstrated by Jesus, to blind with mud to restore one’s sight. God has said that He will not share His glory.
Now Gideon’s faith is strong! He is now fully persuaded that God will deliver the victory, even with the select 300 .
And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.
But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.__ Judges 7:9-11
I see the loving care of God in this holy recon mission. God knows our frames. God knows that 300 against an unnumbered multitude described as “grasshoppers” could be disheartening to anyone. In verses 13-15 Gideon overhears one man tell another of his dream who interprets it as “the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel.”
When Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.__ Judges 7:15
SQuire Bushnell coined the term “Godwink” to describe those intimate moments when God remembers or “winks” as his precious children. I would say that this moment qualifies. And Gideon shows us the appropriate response to those special specific moments when we see an answer to a question /problem that we never uttered, God favors us. We are to worship because God is worthy.
Israel’s victory is gained with 3 groups of 100 men armed with a trumpet and a clay pot with a lamp inside. The acoustical echoes of the trumpets blowing , the crashing of the pots and the flickering of the light so terrified the Midianites “ that the Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow.” Not one Israelite died in this battle because they were led by Gideon, a many who trusted and obeyed God.