Great Men of the Bible Series: Gideon (Judges 7:2)
Judges 7:2 Therefore, the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
Shortly God would perform one of the greatest miracles of all time through just 300 committed men. What heroes they remain today, thirty-two centuries after the event! God called upon a young farm boy named Gideon and gave him the assignment of taking on the Midianites. God intended to deliver Israel from the hands of Midian at the hands of Gideon. However, He also intended to make it very clear who gave them the victory. Lest Israel, in pride, take credit for their deliverance; God would make clear it was He who delivered them.
God shows His might when the odds are against us. The tougher the game, the greater the glory—to God. God wants glory not to satisfy a thirst for praise and adoration, but to build faith in our lives by lifting our focus beyond ourselves to Him. God will purposefully create difficult situations to prove Himself to us.
God makes men and women great who put Him first in their lives and seek Him with their whole heart. Perhaps the key comes when we can begin to see ourselves as God sees us. Gideon saw himself as a farmer, but God saw him as a warrior, a mighty man of valor (Judges 6:12). Gideon had never heard such words.
However, there are times when God makes the situation seem worse in order to show us and others, His power. Take Gideon for example. The Midianites with an army of 135,000 had come upon Israel to destroy it. The Bible says they were like grasshoppers for multitude and as the sand of the sea. When Gideon called for troops, 32,000 men responded. The odds ratio was about one Israelite for every four Midianites. While this was a decent number of people, they were still incredibly outnumbered.
However, God told Gideon that there were too many for Him to give Israel the victory. The reason was because He didn't want Israel to think they had done it. They were greatly outnumbered, but if God gave them the victory, they would have thought they did it themselves.
God told Gideon to let the fearful return home, and he was left with only 10,000 troops. However, this was still too many so God then reduced the number down to 300. We would think 32,000 against a multitude compared to the sands of the sea would be a miracle, and 10,000 men against that many would surely show God's power, but God wanted to make a point by using only 300 men armed with pitchers, torches, and trumpets. He made it clear to Israel, the Midianites and Amalekites, and everyone else who heard the story that God did it. The odds were now at one Israelite for every four-hundred and fifty Midianites.
God can do the same thing in our lives. It always seems that God has a strange way of fighting battles. God wants us to trust in Him even when life is hard and it seems all odds are stacked up against us. Maybe He wants to use you to show that He is still mighty. Gideon’s impossible odds of victory highlight the fact that even if you are small in number, when you join with God, you become an unstoppable force for good.
PRAYER: Lord, May I have the courage of Gideon to believe that though I am weak, in you I am strong. Too often through the eyes of the flesh, I see my battles bigger than You. Help me to trust in You and see them as You see them. There is never a problem I encounter that is greater than You. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.