Summary: So, Gideon's army is gathered but it's too big. How does God whittle it down to size? How does God orchestrate the attack? Who wants equal billing with God in taking credit? Gideon. God deserves all of the glory for all of the great things He does! Amen?
Well, we’ve finally come to Judges 7 where we get to take a look at the great deliverance of the Lord for Israel over the Midianites, the Amalekites and the people of the east.
OK, so today, we’re just going to go over a brief recap of the battle with the horde which had gathered in Israel in order to take anything they want.
(Read over the account from Judges 7:1 - 8:3 and be familiar enough to recount from memory)
Gideon takes his army to within five miles of the Midianite camp
(2) The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’
(3) Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’”
How many went home? How many stayed?
What does the Lord know about Israel?
So, they’re down to 10,000
God says, “Still too many. Let Me weed them out for you.”
Takes them to the water and separate them as I tell you.
How many left?
So, that night the Lord says to Gideon
“Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands …
But, the Lord knows Gideon
(Gideon is the father of all who live in Missouri, the “Show Me” state.)
Perhaps the Lord sees Gideon getting his fleece out for another go at certifying whether the Lord is telling him the truth or not.
So, God preemptively says in Judges 7:10-11
(10) But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, (11) and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp.
The dream of the barley loaf
Gideon hears the dream and the interpretation.
He worships the Lord right then and there.
He returns to camp and tells them Judges 7:15b
“Arise, for the Lord has given the camp of Midian into your hands.”
He calls a huddle and lays out the plan.
He tells them what to call out when they attack
“For the Lord and for Gideon.”
Describe the battle.
Midian starts to flee.
Gideon calls out the men from Naphtali, Asher and Manasseh to join in the battle.
He sends messengers to the tribe of Ephraim to cut off the Midian retreat route
The men of Ephraim capture and kill two of the princes of Midian
The men of Ephraim are angry with Gideon because he did not call them to the battle to start with
Gideon calms them down by boosting their egos
Now, there’s more to come but let’s backtrack a little.
The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’”
“Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands …”
“For the Lord and for Gideon.”
The Lord has coaxed and prodded Gideon throughout this entire process.