I’m about to attempt something dangerous. I’m a trained professional; Do not try this at home.
I will write this post in the same room where my wife is watching “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
Pray for me.
When we last saw our pal, Gideon, he had been called by God to deliver Israel from the oppressive hand of Midian. His first mission was to tear down the altar of Ba’al at his father’s house.
But that was small potatoes compared to what’s next.
With a little help from the Spirit of the Lord, Gideon has assembled an army of roughly, according to “math,” 32,000 soldiers. It is this army that will drive out Midian. (important note: Midian’s army is described as “locust-like”, “without number”, “countless”, and “as the sand on the seashore.” My math doesn’t work anymore.)
Now, I’m no military tactician, but 32,000 vs. “countless” seems like a problem. Because I can count to 32,000. I cannot, however, count to “countless.”
I am feeling a little underwhelmed by the size and chances of Gideon’s army.
But God (one of the best phrases in the Bible) has a different idea. He thinks there are too many.
If Israel wins with the 32,000, they will be tempted to think their numbers were the source of their victory. God does not approve of this. So he begins a multi-phase culling of the army.
Any soldiers out there afraid? You may go. And holy crap! 22,000 men leave! This is the most cowardly army I’ve ever seen!
10,000 left. But at least they are the brave ones . . . and there are still too many of them.
Do any of you lap up water like a dog? You can stay. The rest of you guys who drink like humans, go home.
Now there are 300 left. I was trying to think of some pop-culture reference for three hundred soldiers fighting a giant army but I got nuthin’.
300 vs. the sand on the shore. hmmmmmmm.
The Battle that Wasn’t.
The battle itself is a little ridiculous. Gideon’s “army” sneaks up on the Midian camp and shouts really loud while holding fire. This throws Midian into total panic and confusion and they start fighting each other.
Gideon then calls the people who were sent home to chase down and kill the stragglers.
The essentially won the battle without even carrying swords.
What Made The Difference
Overwhelming numbers did not win that battle.
Brilliant strategy did not win that battle.
An inspiring Braveheart speech did not win that battle.
Israel won because they trusted God. It’s as simple as that. Trust made all the difference. And for all Gideon’s odd character traits, you have to give him credit for trusting God.
What about you?
Are there places in your life where you are tempted to trust in numbers? Strength? Talent? Money? Plans?
What ways is God inviting you to trust Him?
Take that, Toddlers and Tiaras!