Consider Gideon

Consider Gideon
- From Who Are You?

Israel was greatly impoverished" because of the Midianites, and cried unto God for a deliverer. In answer to their cry God raised up a man by the name of Gideon. Gideon was threshing grain by (or 'in') the winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites, when the angel of the LORD greeted him with strange words:

"The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valor" (Judg. 6:12) God knew Gideon's problem. He knew that Gideon was filled with fear because of the enemy. He knew he was but a weak man in one of the poorest families of Manasseh. He knew that Gideon was the least, and not the greatest, in his father's house. Just the qualities that God was looking for! And so the angel said,

"Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel" (vs. 14) His strength was not to be in his own resources, but in his weakness. And the fact that God SENT him would be the only authority and power he needed.

We all know the story... how God had to whittle down the original army of 32,000 men to a handful of 300. Beloved, why can we not learn from the multitude of witnesses, in both the Old Testament and the New... that strength is not in numbers, that riches consist not of silver and gold, that wisdom proceeds from the way of the Cross, and not from the halls of learning?

Gideon demobilized his army at the command of the LORD, by ordering all the fearful ones to go home. He was left with only 10,000 men. These were all anxious for battle; but God said, "The people are yet too many". God took the matter in His own hands and sent another 9,700 home... discharged them from the army of the Lord! And for what reason? Perhaps many of them wondered why, when they were so anxious to fight for the LORD. Whatever the reason was for the discharge of these 9,700 soldiers, I think God would have us know that in the very ordinary things of life, in and about our daily tasks and occupations, we are being tested and tried of the Lord every day, and we are not always aware of it. They were just down at the water quenching their thirst; but God was watching from Heaven, and trying their hearts, and they did not know it! There is something else very significant. God said if He used the whole multitude, then Israel would take some of the glory. So we know that when God hand-picked these 300 men, He knew they would not take any glory for the victory He would give them. God knew He would get all the glory!

God who searcheth the hearts of men is marking His own for involvement in the battle of the Lord, according to His own requirements of faithfulness, obedience, and submission to His will. His standard of judgment is this: "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in that which is much". Do not expect to be commissioned to a post of duty in the army of the Lord if there is indifference or slothfulness or unfaithfulness or dishonesty in your menial day by day tasks at home or at work... unfaithfulness to your employer, or to your employee, cheating, lying, robbing your fellow-citizens by falsifying tax returns. And we could go on and on in this. Paul observed that there was one requirement of a steward... he must be found faithful. And Jesus said if a man could not be trusted in his dealings with mammon, the fading wealth of this life, God could not trust him with the true riches.

God chose the 300, not to show how mighty they were; but to demonstrate that in the weakness of man He Himself would be glorified. With a lamp, and a pitcher, and a trumpet, they went forth to battle. That was all they needed, because the battle was the LORD's. And so Paul says,

"We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:7).

A lamp within the pitcher. But the pitcher had to be broken that the light might shine forth. And then the trumpet sound of God's Word went forth: "The Sword of the LORD and of Gideon..."

The enemy was routed in utter confusion, and actually destroyed themselves. God's battle strategy against the enemy is to throw them into confusion. "Every man's sword was against his fellow, even throughout all the host" (Judg. 7:22) Satan has effectively used this strategy by bringing division and confusion into the midst of God's people; but all this will be reversed in the Day of the LORD.

The hosts of Satan tremble, and are thrown into a confused state of self-destruction when they are confronted with a people walking in the obedience of Christ, in the way of the Cross!