3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

Chapter 26

The Success of This Attack [Judges 7.21-7.25]

Scripture

21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.

22 And the three hundred , and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.

23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.

24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.

25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

Commentary

21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.--Judges 7:21(KJV)

21 While each man kept his position around the camp, everyone in the Midianite camp began to run away, screaming as they fled.--Judges 7:21(GW)

And they stood every man in his place around the camp, to see the salvation of God, and so that it might become clear that it was the Lord’s doing; and you can be sure, if they had participated in the fight, they could have done nothing; they had no weapons in their hands; a trumpet in one hand, and a lamp in the other. The Midianites awoke to an explosion of noise, light, and movement coming down on them from all directions; no wonder they thought they were being attacked by an army even bigger than they were.

Although, by staying in their positions, it served to increase the terror of the enemy, who might have supposed that their assignment was either to light the way for a large army that was advancing from behind them; or to give light to the forces already in the midst of them, and killing them. The latter seems to be the thing that possessed their imaginations, since in all the confusion they were slaying their comrades, assuming that they were the enemy, as the following verse suggests.

Gideon’s soldiers followed their orders exactly as they were given, and stood every man in his place round about the camp, sounding his trumpet to excite them to fight one another, and holding out his torch to give the impression of being surrounded by a large army. These men were NOT using their swords, because they did not have any; they were blowing their trumpets with all their might; and they continued to blow their trumpets, which augmented and compounded the terror and confusion resulting from the panic in the enemy's camp. They did not rush into the host of Midian, as if they were greedy either for blood or booty, but patiently stood still to see the salvation of the Lord, a salvation purely of His own making. Notice how the Lord’s plan went into effect. They feared the Israelites. All the host, upon hearing the alarm immediately began to flee. The alarm flew like lightning through all their lines, and they ran, and cried, and fled. There was something unnatural about this fright. We may suppose they did not have knowledge of the great reduction of Gideon’s army, but rather, they concluded that since their last intelligence it had been growing greater and greater. Therefore, they had reason to suspect, knowing how detestable and monstrous they had made themselves appear to the Israelites, and what bold steps they had taken towards the throwing off of the Midianites yoke of oppression, that it was a very great army which was to be ushered in by all those trumpeters and torch-bearers. But there was more of a supernatural power imposing this terror upon them. God himself was doing the fighting. See how the power of imagination may become a terror at some times, while at other times it is a pleasure. Another good example of how imagination can work against a person is contained in the answer to the question, “Why did they cry out the sword of the Lord and of Gideon? Wasn't this pride on Gideon's part?” No, it was pure wisdom, because clearly the Midianites were already afraid of the sword of Gideon [1](Judges 7:14), and shouting this would help to send them into a panic. The Midianites may not have known who the Lord was, but they knew there was a man from the Lord named Gideon. Therefore, it was appropriate for Gideon to take this leadership role. Leaders without pride must lead, and leading means putting yourself where the people can see you and respond to your leadership. But why must leaders avoid being proud. God’s word has the answer: “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Prov 6:16-19; KJV). Pride is at the top of the list of things God hates, and we should hate it too, especially if we are proud.

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