Gideon Picks His Men, and His Victory – Judges 7
In our stories of Gideon so far, we learned how the angel of the LORD appeared to him, how Gideon destroyed the altar to the false god Baal in obedience to the LORD’s instructions, and how Gideon put out a fleece twice because he wanted to be sure that God was with him.
A short time after that, Gideon and all the people who were with him went to battle with the Midianites, but the LORD said to Gideon “there are too many people with you for me to give you the battle. They will say that they had won the battle by their own strength. So you go and tell them that whoever is afraid should go home.” and so 22,000 people went home, and that left 10,000 people with Gideon.
Again the LORD said to Gideon “there are still too many people, bring them down to the water and I will show you who will stay with you and who will go.” So Gideon brought the people down to the water and the LORD said to him, “every one who drinks the water by putting their hand to their mouth you will set by themselves, also everyone who bows down you will set by themselves.” And there were 300 men who drank by putting their hand to their mouths. And the LORD said to Gideon, “by these 300 men will I give you the Midianites.”
After that the LORD told Gideon “arise, go down to the Midianites for I have delivered them into your hand. But if you are afraid to go down, go with your servant Phurah, and you shall hear what they say, and after that you shall be strengthened to go down to the enemy.” And so Gideon and his servant Phurah, went down to the outside of the armed men that were with the Midianites. There were so many Midianites and Amalekites they could not be numbered. They were like the sand by the sea side.
When Gideon had come down, they heard a man who was telling a dream to his friend, about how a cake of barley bread fell into the Midianites, and fell into a tent so that the tent fell over. The man’s friend told him that this was nothing else except the sword of Gideon because God had delivered Midian into Gideon’s hand. And so it was that when Gideon heard the dream and the explanation of the dream, he worshipped, and returned to the men of Israel and said “Arise, for the LORD has delivered into your hand the Midianites.”
And he divided the 300 men into 3 companies, and he gave each man a trumpet and a pitcher with a lamp inside the pitcher. He said to them “look at me and do the same thing..when I come to the outside of the camp do what I do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then you blow the trumpets on every side of the camp and say “the sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
So Gideon and the 100 men that were with him came to the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch of the night. They blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers (with the lamps inside) that were in their hands. And the three companies blew their trumpets, and broke the pitchers and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands and they cried “the sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.”
And every man stood in his place around the camp; and all the Midianites ran and cried and fled. And the 300 men blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man’s sword (of the Midianites and the Amalekites) against each other and they all fled away. And the men of Israel gathered themselves together and pursued after the Midianites.
And Gideon sent messengers through all Mount Ephraim saying “come down against the Midianites…and all the men gathered themselves together and took two princes of the Midianites…one named Oreb and one named Zeleb; and they were both killed, and they brought proof of this to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan River.
And that is how the LORD used Gideon and his 300 men to defeat the Midianites.
No memory verse or questions and answers for this story. It is good to dwell on how the LORD God used a man who thought that he was weak, and turned him into a mighty warrior with few men to win a victory. With God, nothing shall be impossible.