“Early in the morning Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the men with him camped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. Then the LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many people for Me to deliver Midian into their hands, lest Israel glorify themselves over Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now, therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people: ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand of them turned back, but ten thousand remained. Then the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many people. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go. But if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” So Gideon brought the people down to the water, and the LORD said to him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel to drink.” And the number of those who lapped the water with their hands to their mouths was three hundred men; all the others knelt to drink. Then the LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men who lapped the water I will save you and deliver the Midianites into your hand. But all the others are to go home.”
At this time due to the Israelites not being faithful and worshiping the gods of the land, the Lord gave them over to the oppression of the Midianites. It is when we choose by our own free will to disobey God, we also choose the consequences of those actions.
“Now when the Israelites cried out to the LORD because of Midian, He sent them a prophet, who told them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. I delivered you out of the hands of Egypt and all your oppressors. I drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you: ‘I am the LORD your God. You must not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.’ But you did not obey Me.” (Judges 6:7-10)
But by God’s great mercy, He will not allow those consequences to go on too long. He came to Gideon who was of the weakest in Manasseh. But what a better way for God to show His glory!
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (I Corinthians 1:27)
So God chose to use Gideon who was full insecurity to work through. He kept fleecing the Lord to prove it was indeed God. God showed compassion and gave into Gideon’s request. Instead of doing it at broad daylight, Gideon destroyed the altars of Baal at night. Gideon was fearful and insecure and all the time of their oppression you know that fearfulness and negativity was passed down from his father. Regardless of when Gideon did it, he obeyed the Lord and of all people, when the Israelites were gathering against him to question his actions, his dad came to his defense!
Then the reason for the Lord’s appearance, the call to come against the Midianites. The Lord could not allow a great number of people to come out to fight, then they might say it was their own arm that brought them victory. So God reduced the number. He reduced the fearful, they might cause danger to the rest of the men.
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
Your own mouth, your negative words will hinder your victory. Each word you speak is a seed. What seeds are you planting for your future?
“The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
He also reduced the army the rest of the way by the way they drank water. Kneeling down and cupping the water in their hands showed self-control and the mark of a good warrior. While the Lord wants this in us, for this purpose, He did not want them endangered but He also did not want them to bring glory to themselves. He needed the glory in order to turn the Israelites back to Him, to repent and turn back to worshiping Him again.
And helping the Israelites win an outnumbered battle, will do it. Have you been reduced? Do you have more bills than money? An illness that seems hopeless. Maybe a wayward child and it seems that they will never turn around due to how long it has been.
Then start expecting! You are in the perfect place for a miracle and a display of God’s awesome power. He wants to show you just how much He loves and cares for you and He has not forgotten you! When you look at the mountains and are in awe of how big and majestic they are, you will be amazed and in awe of what God has in store for you.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
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