Verse of the Day Devotion. Judges 7:2
“And the LORD said to Gideon, the people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, lest Israel become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.'” – Judges 7:2
In the Book of Judges, we see many times when God’s people went against God’s ways. One of those times God gave them over to Midian for seven years. “And the power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.” Judges 6:2. And they kept them weak by destroying their crops. “So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to devastate it.“ Judges 6:4-5. After a time, they went to God for help. “So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the LORD.” Judges 6:6.
God then calls Gideon. “And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.” Judges 6:12. But Gideon answered the angel saying, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian. And the LORD looked at him and said, Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you? And he said to Him, O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house. But the LORD said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” Judges 6:13-16. Gideon saw himself as not worthy and incapable of being a warrior. And note God’s response to Gideon’s humility, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.”
Then the Lord comes to Gideon and says, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, lest Israel become boastful, saying, My own power has delivered me.” Judges 7:2. At first, God says there were too many people, and they would take the credit which was deserved by God alone. So God says, “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.” Judges 7:3. God then tells Gideon again there were too many men. “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 every one 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.” Judges 7:4-5. Now, after all this, there were 300 men selected to go out. “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. And 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.” Judges 7:6-7. And the three hundred, led by Gideon, blew 300 trumpets. “And 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.” Judges 7:22.
There were around 135,000 men of Midian whom Gideon, with 300 men, went up against. And they did not chase the Midian army, but the Midian soldiers ran away because of the fear put in them by God. And we have nothing to fear as well. Moses told Israel, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6. And Jesus spoke to His disciples saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27. And no matter what comes our way, “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,” 1 Peter 3:14. God assured Gideon that he had no reason to fear the enemy, but with 300 men He would defeat the entire army of Midian. Always remember what Paul said to the Roman Christians. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. If God is on our side, which He is, then we have nothing to fear. He can do anything for us, even if it looks impossible. And this is what Gideon saw, and how he defeated and army of over 130,000 with but 300 on his side.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.