Judges 7:2, “The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her,”
When you are facing a difficult battle ahead does it make sense to decrease your weapons? Gideon was the leader of Israel’s army, and God would decrease the size of Gideon’s army with a battle just on the horizon. The Lord’s instructions probably came as a complete shock to Gideon. I can imagine the he was confused upon hearing, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands.” That doesn’t sound very sensible to me; decrease your army size, because there are too many men for battle. Gideon’s army was already outnumbered four to one. When I was trying out for sports teams growing up, if one didn’t qualify for the team they were cut from the team, so that only the best players were left to produce a winning team. There were usually two cuts that took place. This is what God did when he sifted Gideon’s army. God cut the first wave of people from the team by having Gideon announce, “Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.” The result was that “twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.” The first cut allowed the cowards to disqualify themselves and go back home to mommy. Now God would have second cuts, and reduce Gideon’s army even further. A special examination or screening was set up based on the manner of water drinking among the 10,000 remaining soldiers. There the LORD told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.” (7:4) Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.” Those that kneeled down to drink were cut, and those that apparently crouched down to scoop up water by using their hands as a dog uses its tongue remained. The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands.” The size of the army went from 32,000 to 10,000 to a mere 300 men to fight. Why would God do such a thing?
1. God can do a lot with a little. God can bring a victory with a few as easily as he could with a large army. Israel would not be able to boast about their victory, as the Lord removed all ground for boasting. Sometimes God reduces you in order to prepare you to move forward, and increase you. John the Baptist said, “He must Increase, I must decrease (John 3:30).” But this is not all.
2. God decreases us to show Himself strong. God said, “…for my power is made perfect in weakness.” [Paul replied] Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” The world needs to see God’s power through your weakness. Are you shining brightly, or dimly?
3. God Knows those that are willing to take risks for Him. Not everyone is willing to obey God when things seem illogical on the surface. Sifting Gideon’s army for battle is not good military strategy in the natural, but in the supernatural it was just what the Master ordered, and Gideon obeyed. What would you have done?
God can do a lot with very little to show Himself strong, and He knows those that are willing to take risks for Him even when “reason” says otherwise. I, you, we serve a victorious God. What is He asking you to do without to accomplish His will? Are you willing to take that risk?
Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><
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