Judges 7

Judges 7 has Gideon getting ready for battle.  He “rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod”.  He had gathered quite an impressive army, but God said “the people with you are too many”.  What?  God how can we have too many soldiers for battle.  But God wanted the victory to be obviously His, so He wants to pare down the number.  He begins by telling Gideon “Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home”.  Well, that may make sense as you don’t really want to go to battle with a bunch of people who are afraid.

So out of the original 32,000 soldiers, “22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained”.  Over two thirds have gone home, but still a pretty impressive number of warriors.  But God isn’t content with that many.  So he tells Gideon to do another test for separation.  “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself”.  I’m not sure what the significance is but perhaps it was because those who cupped the water in their hands and brought it to their mouth were be better soldiers, because they kept their eyes on their surroundings even when taking a drink.

Whatver the reason for God’s decision, “the number of those who lapped….was 300 men” and God instructs Gideon to “let all the others go every man to his home”.  Now he is down to 300 from 32,000.  That pretty much makes it a case that if God doesn’t show up and do something, the outcome won’t be good.  “That same night the Lord said to him, Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand….if you are afraid….go down to the camp….you shall hear what they say”.

Gideon hears the dream being shared in the enemy camp and knows that God will give them victory, in spite of the fact that “the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number”.  300 men with Gideon agains an army too large to count.  But God shows up, and gives them the victory with trumpets and torches as Gideon and his men followed God’s instructions and totally defeated the enemy.  That is how God works.  He is faithful and never fails to do what He says.  They defeated them all and killed the princes of these nations.  One plus God is always enough!

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