In this Scripture reading, we find that Gideon and the 300 ready for battle and learn a lesson about “impossibility”.
Frankly, the Bible never ceases to amaze me.
After the angel’s visit, Gideon raised a formidable army in order for Israel to fight the Midianites and Amalekites.
But, what does God do?
God says to cut the military strength down to 300 men. Will this force be enough?
And yet, God tells Gideon there are too many men in the army.
Why? Keep reading..
Gideon and the 300 – Gideon Readies for Battle
Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him, rose early and camped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.
The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’
Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’”
So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.
Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”
So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.”
Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water.
The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.”
So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands. And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
Now the same night it came about that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands.
But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp.” So he went with Purah his servant down to the outposts of the army that was in the camp.
Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. – Judges 7:1-12 NASB
32,000 to 3oo – What Method of War Strategy Is This?
Before we look closer at these verses, let’s put together a scenario.
Let’s say we’re about to go to war against a country who has more soldiers, more weapons, and superior leadership.
With that said, we’ll examine our forces – and that of the enemy.
They have a total of 32,000 soldiers and an impressive Navy & Air Force.
We have a total of about 30,000 troops and plenty of fire power in the air and on the sea.
Cut Back the Troops!
Instead of going after the enemy with everything we have, we decide to only use 1/10 of the personnel.
Oh, let’s only deploy one ship and three planes!
Does this sound ludicrous?
So, Why Did God Choose Gideon and the 300?
The one word which comes to mind is arrogance.
Just think, if we can accomplish a task completely on our own, why do we need God’s help?
Our belief then becomes the same as those claiming to be atheists. Sadly, they believe everything done on earth is by human hands.
So, Who Gets the Credit?
If Gideon had fought the battle with his full force, the outcome might have been the same. But, who would the people praise? God – or Gideon?
When we rely solely on our own resources and abilities to do impossible tasks, we tend to become arrogant.
Yes, this could work for a short while.
But, what happens when something comes along that is totally out of our control and beyond our means?
President Ronald Reagan once said;
“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
So, the next time we accomplish a difficult task, let’s give credit where credit is due!
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 here.
According to Scripture, we can do amazing things with God’s blessing. I hope this Bible study about Gideon and the 300 inspired you. I thank God for His guidance.