The Battle is the Lord’s

Yesterday I wrote about how God called Gideon in chapter 6 of the book of Judges. The story continues in the next chapter and it just gets better! Gideon gathers together an army of 32,000 men but God tells him that this is too many for Him to allow them the victory, “Lest Israel boast about themselves against Me, saying My own hand has delivered me.” (Judges 7:2) So, the Lord instructs Gideon to tell the men that are fearful to turn around and go home. 22,000 left! (How would you have felt at this point if you were Gideon?)

Gideon now has an army of 10,000 but God still isn’t satisfied so He sets another test. This time Gideon has to bring the men to the river – those that drink the water by cupping their hands are to remain but those who lap like a dog are to be sent home. This now leaves Gideon with a total of 300 men to deliver Israel from the hand of the vast Midianites army.

The battle strategy God gives Gideon is just as bizarre as the way his army was selected. He is to divide them into three companies and to give each man a trumpet to hold in one hand and an empty pitcher with a torch inside, which they are to hold in their other hand. God wants to make absolutely sure that the Israelites cannot take any credit for this victory – they can’t even draw their swords because their hands are already occupied!

The 300 men surround the Midianite camp, blow their trumpets, smash the pitchers and shout “The sword for the Lord and Gideon!” The whole Midianite army cry out in fear and run away! Although the Israelite army was comprised of the most fearless warriors, God made certain they would not be able to win the battle in their own strength. He gave them a strategy that required complete trust and obedience in Him and meant that their victory could only have come from the Lord.

We all go through battles in our Christian life but sometimes God will allow us to get to the end of our own strength. He allows the situation to get so bad that we just give up fighting in our own strength and give it all over to Him. It is also interesting to note that God’s strategy is seldom rational. His ways are not like our ways and often they just don’t make sense to our logical reasoning.

So, don’t despair if you feel too weak for the battle ahead because God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). The quicker we submit to God and His ways, the quicker we shall see victory in every area of our lives and others will look on and say “That had to be God!” Not only will you give God the glory but others will see also how God has come through for you.

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