Judges 7: Follow Wherever He Leads
Judges chapter 7 seems like a really odd chapter. First, Gideon has an entire army, but God tells him that he has too many men. Why?
Jdg 7:2 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
Therefore, God told Gideon then to ask the men if they were afraid. Of the 22,000 men who were originally there, only 1000 said they were not afraid.
However, God wasn’t done trimming their forces.
He told Gideon to take the men down to the water. He was to pay attention to how they drank.
Jdg 7:5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
Jdg 7:6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
Jdg 7:7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.
With 300 men, God was going to eliminate the entire army of the Midianites. That would have been enough to make me a little bit nervous. I know that I certainly believe in the power of God and intellectually understand that He can do anything, but God was really forcing Gideon to prove that he was really willing to trust God.
That being said, Gideon is still the same guy who liked to have additional assurance. God again gave him another piece of evidence just to ensure that everything would go all right.
Jdg 7:9 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.
Jdg 7:10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:
Jdg 7:11 And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.
He overheard the men talking in the camp that they had dreams that they were overrun by Gideon. That was all the proof that Gideon needed, so he went back to camp and got his men ready for war.
However, this is where the really odd part comes into play. The attack of the Israelites was basically blowing trumpets, smashing pottery and holding torches. Essentially, they scared the Midianite army all the way out of camp without ever raising the sword. In fact, the Midianites turned on themselves in the confusion. How many battles do you know like that?
I think that this entire passage is a testament to the power of God. First of all, reducing the army to such a small number and then winning the battle without really attacking whatsoever is pretty remarkable, and I cannot think of another time in history where a similar event happened. For me, that directly points to divine intervention and the power of God. Only He could make this type of result happen.