Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, "You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’" So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the Lord said to Gideon, "There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go." So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink." Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The Lord said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home." So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others. Judges 7:1-8
i love how God works. just as He had an out of the box victory plan for Joshua at Jericho, He has an out of the box victory plan for Gideon.
its not usual battle strategy to send most of your men home. most military advisors would advise to man up, weapon up and that there is strength in numbers. they would seriously question sending ANYONE home. let alone reducing their army to just 300 against such a formidable enemy.
Realistically, numerically, logically and physically, Gideon’s army was not going to win the battle. However, when you bring God into the mix, the normal is pushed aside and the supernatural comes into being.
but it was God’s strategy and Gideon was obedient to listen to it and to do it.
Obedience isn’t some mysterious thing. It is saying “Yes” to the things God asks us. They may be things from The Bible. They may be more direct and personal things that God asks of us… to go here… to serve there… to give this… to not do that… to read this… to sacrifice that… Sometimes obedience doesn’t make sense… well not to our eyes, or the eyes of those around us. But to God who knows our steps and the perfect path to walk… it makes perfect sense and is part of the jigsaw of our life…
Obedience can be painful. Obedience can strike at the heart of the things we want to hold onto the most. It can cause us to walk in a direction we hadn’t planned on, and maybe even don’t want to. Obedience can put you in a circumstance and place that stretches your heart and faith. Obedience is an expression of my faith. I believe and trust in God, therefore i obey Him and go where He leads and do what He says.
”You will never attain to the mountain of internal peace If you govern yourself according to your own will. This self nature of your soul must be conquered. Your directions, your judgement, your disposition to rebel must be subjected and reduced to ashes. How? In the fire of obedience, for it is there that you will find out if you are truly a follower of Divine love or self love.
One of God’s servants once said:
It would be better that you gather dung by obedience than be caught up into the third heaven by your own will.
What is true obedience? Obedience, to be perfect, must be voluntary; it must be pure and cheerful. But most of all it must be internal. I would add that it must also be blind and preserving.
Molinos from 100 Days in the Secret Place
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:10-11
and when you look at who left: it was those afraid and those who “drunk unwisely” – those who were not aware of where they were or their purpose as an army, those who were not alert to the seasons and times. those that positioned themselves properly stayed and were part of this amazing victory. their lives were changed from that point as they were the men God used to bring deliverance to their people.
this passage also reminds me that whatever enemy i face in my life – what every opposition or trial – that God has a strategy for me to get through it victoriously. it may take some change and some sacrifice and some surrendering and some obedience, but if i follow Him, He will lead and guide me.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIVUK
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. psalm 18:32-34
“It was just after midnight, after the changing of the guard, when Gideon and the one hundred men with him reached the outer edge of the Midianite camp. Suddenly, they blew the horns and broke their clay jars. Then all three groups blew their horns and broke their jars. They held the blazing torches in their left hands and the horns in their right hands and shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” Each man stood at his position around the camp and watched as all the Midianites rushed around in a panic, shouting as they ran. When the three hundred Israelites blew their horns, the LORD caused the warriors in the camp to fight against each other with their swords.” Judges 7:19-22 NLT
A prophetic lady Sandy Warner wrote the following in 2001 (see her website http://www.thequickenedword.com)the following is just a segment that has always stuck with me since reading it, but I wanted to highlight the part about jars of clay.
“WEAK INSTRUMENT – A BROKEN CLAY JAR The instruments that the Lord used to defeat these Midianites are amazing. They carried hidden fire inside clay jars which they brought into the enemy’s camp. It was not until these jars were broken that their torches blazed. Of course the jars of clay are us and the light is Jesus Christ and His fiery passion within us. When we are broken and vulnerable before the Lord and before our enemies, we are in the place where God wants us to SHINE.
2 Corinthians 4:7 “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Cor 4:5-7 NKJV)