(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
“There are still too many!” Judges 7:4
Still too many? Ten thousand against 135,000 is still too many? I think we can see what the Lord is doing here. He wants ridiculous odds against us. So God whittled Gideon’s army down one more time. He had Gideon take them down to the water and observe how they drank from the stream. Did they get down on all fours and plant their face in the water, or did they go down on one knee and cup the water with their hands? This little exercise netted Gideon 300 men. Perfect. Now we can go get those Midianites!
But what do we know about those 300 men? Do we know anything? Because maybe that could tell us something about what God expects from the people who serve Him (meaning us). Well, they weren’t idiots. They weren’t afraid to fight like the 22,000 who went home when given the opportunity. They were ready to fight, and they were alert. The way they drank from a stream showed something about their awareness and their tenacity. They were ready to seize the day. They were cautious. That’s important, because it shows us God wants us to be prepared to follow Him. He doesn’t want a bunch of clueless people who don’t know what’s going on, or don’t care. The reduction in numbers was not a reduction in quality. God doesn’t want lazy good-for-nothings on His team. I’m thinking of Oswald Chambers’ still popular devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. That would be Gideon’s 300.
God doesn’t reduce us to worthlessness. It’s all about power and who we are relying on. We show up awake, aware, alert, informed, prepared, but powerless, because we know that apart from Him, we can do nothing. It’s everything from God and nothing from us except to be ready.
You can be sure that Gideon’s men were trained; their swords were sharp; their armor was in place; their skills were honed. God was going to send them on a different mission than they had ever been on before — He would fight many of their battles for them — but they were ready for battle, just the same, like we must be ready.
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:10-18).
So true about faith, prayer, putting up the armor, and standing firm as much as possible with the Lord and against Satan. Satan is powerful, tricky, and quite a con artist but, our Lord is so much more and Satan hates that and will try anything to move us against God. We must always be ready.