Summary: Many times the workings, methods, and ways of God seem to make absolutely no sense. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to why God does things the way He does.
Gideon - The Mighty Man of Valor
“Reduction for Victory”
Part 4 of a Series
We could also call this series The Life and Times of Gideon. In the previous three messages in this series, we have been studying the transformation of a man.
He started out as a fearful man of low confidence and no self-esteem.
After several encounters with the Angel of the Lord, his faith and purpose began to grow. But as we found out, it was not instantaneous but was a process; each encounter building upon the last.
Until finally, it has become clear to Gideon that it was his destiny to do something big; and he could get the job done.
Judges 7:1-8 NLT “So Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and his army got up early and went as far as the spring of Harod. The armies of Midian were camped north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh.
2 The Lord said to Gideon, "You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.
3 Therefore, tell the people, 'Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.'" So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight.
4 But the Lord told Gideon, "There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not."
5 When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the Lord told him, "Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream."
6 Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream.
7 The Lord told Gideon, "With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home."
8 So Gideon collected the provisions and rams' horns of the other warriors and sent them home. But he kept the 300 men with him.
Many times the workings, methods, and ways of God seem to make absolutely no sense. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to why God does things the way He does.
We see it in His choosing of Israel to be His people and the nation through whom the Messiah would come—He said that is wasn’t because of their great strength or numbers that He chose Israel, but because of their smallness and weakness.
With David it was a sling with 5 stones
With Samson it was the jawbone of a donkey.
With the hungry crowd of thousands, Jesus fed them with a little boy’s lunch.
Moses had a staff with which to open the Red Sea.
Gideon was the weakest of the weak and poorest of the poor. Like I said before, I am often amazed by those God chooses. It’s never the obvious choice, is it?
Often God waits until we are down to “Gideon’s 300” to answer our prayers and do a mighty work.
GIDEON’S POSITION (v.1)
Its interesting that the text begins with Gideon being called Jerubbaal. Remember that names have meanings and it was no mistake that he was given an addition to his name.
It means “Let Baal contend for his own defense.”
Remember, he had just destroyed the altar of Baal and when the people wanted to kill him for it, his dad rose up and said to let Baal defend himself if he is able.
And now, the Israelites gathered together and set up their camp by the Well of Herod. There were only 32,000 in this first gathering which was far less than the enemy’s camp.
In Hebrew, “Harod” means "Fountain of Trembling, or Affliction."
Think about it, they were assembling an army and told everyone to gather at the Fountain of Fear and Affliction.
You see these were people who had been oppressed and abused their entire lives. And, we could focus on their fear but the fact is, they stepped across the chicken line and showed up….. 32,000 of them.
Are you gathered at the Fountain of Trembling and Affliction? Has the devil been using his tactics of fear and intimidation on you?
When things are at their worst, God is at his best. Isaiah 59:19 says “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”
THE ENEMY’S CAMP
The host of Midianites was camped by the Hill of Moreh. In Hebrew, “Moreh” means early rain!