Judges 6:16 - “And the Lord said to him, ‘But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.’”
Judges 7:2 - “The Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’”
How did God teach Gideon to rely on Him?
He schooled him on how to rely on His power and not his own.
Judges 7:3 - “Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.”
Judges 7:6-8 - “And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the Lord said to Gideon, ‘With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.’ So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men.”
He gave him assurance throughout the battle.
Judges 7:9 - “That same night the Lord said to him, ‘Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant.’”
Judges 7:15 - "As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, 'Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand.'"
As followers of Jesus we can be assured of at least five things:
- Assurance of salvation (1 John 5:11-12)
- Assurance of answered prayer (John 16:24)
- Assurance of victory (1 Corinthians 10:13)
- Assurance of forgiveness (1 John 1:9)
- Assurance of guidance (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Proverbs 3:5-6 - “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
He allowed him to see victory as a result of his faith and obedience.
Judges 7:22 - “When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man's sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled…”
“What would you do if you were absolutely confident God was with you?” (Andy Stanley)
What can we learn from this story?
God doesn’t need a big display of power or numbers to do the miraculous, He just needs faith and obedience.
Matthew 17:20 - “He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’”
God’s top priority is His glory.
Isaiah 48:9-11 - “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I do it, for how should My name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.”
Sometimes God will allow us to come up against an insurmountable obstacle so we will have to rely on Him.
1 Peter 4:12 - “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.”
2 Corinthians 1:9 - “Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
"Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days -- when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you're out of options, when the pain is great, and you turn to God alone. It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most authentic, heartfelt, honest-to-God prayers."