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Monday: Gideon — 20 Comments

  1. An aspect I'd like to comment on briefly, is the "test" at the river. Gideon started with a force of 32,000 men. But God explains to Gideon that "the people that are with you are too many" (Judg 7:2) Too many! Success, in God's view, does not depend on numbers. Numbers certainly should not be seen as an indication of strength. (And of course numbers are not always a reliable indicator, even in terms of evangelical success.)

    But Gideon's army was to go through a double "screening" [or "sifting"] process.
    The first "screening" came in the form of an appeal (or a request) : "Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return [and go home]". (Judg 7:3)

    Of the original 32,000 men, 22,000 withdraw and go home, leaving a force of 10,000 men. (ibid.) Then the Lord said to Gideon, "the people are yet too many". Still too many!

    A second "screening" now takes place. The army is led down to the river, "expecting to make an immediate advance".(PP 549.) They think they are now on their way to engage with the enemy, but no, the river crossing is a test of character. Those that have an over-riding sense of purpose, urgency, and self-control, take some water in their hands as they cross, and drink from their hand while they keep moving. But those that stop and kneel down to drink, manifest a different attitude, a different character. Only 300 of those 10,000 men exhibit the characteristic that God is looking for.

    "By the simplest means character is often tested". (Patriarchs & Prophets p.549) And how true it is!

  2. Some very interesting numbers here. When Gideon called upon the people to fight against the Midianites he said to them "if anybody feels afraid is lacking confidence, let him return home", 22,000 went back, which left 10,000 men standing. this would mean that there would have been aprox. 32,000 that stepped forward in the first place. Then the Lord told Gideon that this number was too large, so a selection process was put in place; they were taken to the water's edge and told to drink. there were some that dropped to their knees and some who got down and lapped like a dog. 300 lapped like a dog and the rest were kneeling; only those who lapped were selected in the final assault force. now let's look at the figures: out of the original number (32,000) 10,000 left, that works out to aprox. 1/3, from them only 300were selected and this works out to less than 1/000th of the original 323,000.

    With the Lord's guidance Gideon defeated an army that the Bible calls "innumerable" Judges 6:5.

    Surely, God's ways are not man's ways. If God be for us who can be against us? let us not be dismayed by the adversaries strength, there is One who is stronger than he, the Lord be praised!

    • Let's consider the facts concerning Gideon's victory over the enemy, which scripture tells us was 135,000 men(Judges 8:10). So what was the ratio of the enemy vs the men of Israel?

      With the original 32,000 who responded, the ratio was 4.22 : 1

      With the 10,000, it was up to 13.5 : 1

      With the 300 it was now 450 : 1.

      However, it was really 135,000 : 1, that One being the Lord. Consider that Gideon's 300 were all "armed" with trumpets and "empty earthen pitchers" in which a lamp was concealed until the pitcher was broken to reveal the light. With only 2 hands per person, there was no ability to hold a weapon with which to fight. God simply turned the enemy against each other as Gideon's army blew the trumpets and held high their lamps in the dark. Does this have any meaning for us today?

      This is how God will finish the work with His faithful servants.

      • Interesting! Thank you Robert. I'm wondering now whether that descending ratio [inasmuch as it relates to the human elements involved] might even take another step down. The Midianite camp must have been quite extensive, and it strikes me that Gideon "divided the 300 men into 3 companies" (Judg 7:16). Those 3 little groups would have been physically separated by a reasonable distance, because when the time came to act, each man "stood [still] in his place ROUND ABOUT the [enemy] camp" (Judg 7:21) in the middle of the night. Wow! I can see why the Lord chose the characteristics that He did for those men.

        They brought so much confusion and panic into the hearts of the [multi-national, multi-lingual] Midianite army!

  3. By choosing the least expected people like Gideon, God was teaching mankind that He does not respect one's status in society. God looks at willingness to serve Him.

    We sometimes fail to do God,s work because we look at people around us and feel that those people are in better positions to do God's work. We tend to forget that the expertise we see in other people is given by the same God who created us and is willing to qualify us for the work before us.

    • It is worth noting that not every one is called to do big tasks for God. Sometimes he asks us not to lead but to serve and sometimes the jobs may seem to be almost trivial or insignificant. A cup of cold water given in Jesus name may happen to be the most effective way or serving God.

    • Indeed the story of Gideon and the 32000 soldiers depicts exactly what is in the church today.We call ourselves christians yet our actions are showing otherwise.Sister White said in Christian Service-that not even 100 of those registered in church register are prepared for the second coming of christ.Too bad.God help us.

  4. Our role in the Great Controversy is NOT to glorify ourselves in any way when the battle is won ( as on our own we are powerless before the Dragon) but to showcase the might of God that He can use the weakest among us (if there is really anything like that) for is course if we submit to His authority.

    Also significant is the fact that the choice(s) we the Reminant make will be the last straw that will either break/make the camels back because presently according to Rev. 12. The dragon has pulled together his forces against us (the rest of the woman's offspring) in this great conflict and crisis, but by the grace of God we will stand firm, uphold the commandment of our God, the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour and testify against this dragon to the glory of God.

  5. Like He did Moses,who pleaded lack of eloquence in speech, Jeremiah who whimpered that he was only a child,Elijah who fled for his life even after witnessing wondrous miracles on Mount Carmel and many others whom God had chosen for a specific task or role throughout history, He assured Gideon, "I will be with you". What Deborah had declared to Barak that the battle was the Lord's and there would be NO GLORY in it but for THE LORD, Gideon understood very well. That is really the punch line. All the glory belongs to the Lord for He alone is worthy!! He was Israel's mighty Deliverer from EGYPT and from their enemies all through their wanderings in the wilderness. HE has promised that He will deliver His Remnant people at the conclusion of this Great Controversy and GOD'S promises NEVER fail. We must be willing to put self aside and let GOD BE God. The sooner we accept that we are and can do NOTHING without God the sooner we learn to humble ourselves into His loving, caring and powerful hand like Gideon did recognizing that we are the weakest. (Judges 6:15). After all, we want to be on the winning side and God WILL be victorious!

  6. Notice of error in above post: The 300 out of the original 32,000 is less than 1/100th not 1/1000th as printed above, still it's a tiny fraction of the number of people who originally volunteered to be in Gideon's army.

  7. From the story I learnt that God does not choose the qualified but He instead qualifies men for mission like in the case of Gideon.Secondly like the israelites we only run to God when in trouble or when things are not working to our advantage.

  8. The messenger comes to Gideon speaking in the affirmative of what would come to pass. The word of God (Lev 26, Deut 28) would have revealed the cause of the curse that had fallen upon Israel at this time, which still speaks to us today doesn't it? The messenger of God does not answer Gideon's question who must have already understood the answer since God had sent a prophet among Israel to call them to repentance so that God could bless. We often ask for answers we already know, or which cannot be answered until we exercise faith in what we do know presently. God is not one to trifle with, and as He is openly honest and respectful with us, we must also be with Him.

    Gideon's replies reveal a general unbelief, yet God saw a man who would rise in faith and execute God's will for the occasion. This same God knew Pharaoh would harden his heart while Nebuchadnezzar would surrender his to the “highest God”. There are many we might reach as well who will respond in faith to the call of the Gospel.

    Why use sinners to help save sinners? God gives to man accountability and responsibility to his fellow man. It is in helping others that we are helped the most, as we realize our need and dependence upon the Lord our Redeemer. It takes the three-fold experience of the holy place (God's Word, prayer, being witnesses) to fully restore the image of God in man. As God is light, so we must be, not keeping it only to ourselves.

  9. I will be with you"..God told Gideon.and God promised to give him the strength he needed to overcome the opposition .in spite of this clear promise for strength Gideon made excuses.seeing only his limitations and weakneses,he failed to see how God could work through him
    Like Gideon,we are called to serve God in specific ways although God promises us the tools and strength we need,we often make excuses.but reminding God our limitations only implies that he does not know all about us or that he has made a mistake in ivaluating our character.Dont spend time making excuses.Instead spend time in doing what GOD wants..

  10. I believe if God be for us, who can be (stand up) against us? Romans 8:31-32 "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" And, by "all things" I believe it is inclusive of HIS hedge of protection. I also believe it is a witness to the Sovereignty of GOD as foretold through the narrative of David and Goliath - which to me is the affirmation that no(thing)and no(one) is too big for Jehovah Nissi! ~ selah ~

  11. I like Jash's comments. God is a strategic planner. He knew Gideon's weakness but He chose him because he was humble. Somewhere in this weak man God saw a committed individual who He could use to save His children, again. I know God can use us the same way today if we trust Him. Our situation today can be compared to the Israelites of the past. May we learn from these lessons and be obedient to our God who promise to fight our battles if we trust Him.

  12. I have so often claimed God's promises that #1 "His strength is made perfect in my weakness." and that #2 "His word will not return to Him void." God can not lie, another promise in the Bible. He said it, He will do it. Of my own strength I can do nothing, but He can do anything, everything. My prayer is for His will to be done; how amazing is that, He acknowledges that I can't do it and promised to make up the big difference.

  13. God works with people willing to be lead,obey instructions,and seek his guidance.In end times missionary work shall be walking into open gates and proclaiming the Good Word of Hope,Healing,and Inspiration.Onward Christian Soilders matching to deliver the word of Hope.The Lord shall use people who are busy doing something for themselves and Others in Jesus Name.


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