In today’s chapter, Gideon defeats the Midianite army. Gideon amasses a large army of 32,000 men, from the areas of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Nephtali. God calls Gideon to send away several of the men so that God’s glory and power can come through the victory over the Midianites. By the time it was over, Gideon was left with 300 members for his army. Then, in the middle of the night, Gideon surrounded the Midianite camp and they all blew their horns. The Midianites were thrown into a frenzy and began attacking each other so they could escape. Gideon and his men became victorious and chased down the rest of their enemy’s army.
The thing that astonished me about this chapter was God’s call to make Gideon’s army smaller. He had originally brought together 32,000 men to join in his fight against the Midianites. God told him to send some home, and Gideon lost 2/3 of his entire military (he was left with 10,000). Yet, God still wanted him to sacrifice more. So God sent away all but 300 of Gideon’s army. God left Gideon with less than 1% of his original army! Still, Gideon was able to overcome the Midianite army. Why? It’s because he trusted God to go before them in battle and over come the enemy.
What does this mean for us today? The world often tells us that we need more, more, more! I know I feel this in music ministry. Sometimes I feel, “If only I can get more musicians” or “If only we had a better sound system” or “If only we had more money to increase production value” and so on. But God doesn’t want us to increase. He often causes us to decrease, so that His glory can be shown even better. Jesus told his disciples, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2, NASB). God likes to make us smaller, so that when we overcome great obstacles, the only possible reason we succeed is Him. If you are in a time of “pruning”, I ask you to remain in Him. He isn’t trying to punish you. He is trying to help you be able to glorify Him even better.
Also in this series
- Just a Bit of History (Judges 1)
- The Testing of Israel (Judges 2)
- We Need God to Succeed (Judges 3)
- Make Your Enemy Flee (Judges 4)
- Being Thankful (Judges 5)
- Staring Down the Mob (Judges 6)
Psalms to Pray: Psalm 56