"And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon...[who] became mighty in war, [and] put foreign armies to flight..." Hebrews 11:32, 34
Let's review Gideon's story here.
#1) Gideon is approached by an Angel of the Lord who assures him that he would win the battle against the Midianites (who were oppressing the Israelites at the time). He doubts, he tests, then he worships the Lord.
#2) God asks Gideon to remove the town's Baal idols, and Gideon does, but only under the cover of night because he was fearful.
#3) Then, after getting bailed out of a hanging and getting a mega army to back him up, Gideon still questions the Lord and makes Him prove Himself to make sure that it is indeed the Lord calling Gideon to lead the battle.
God called an unlikely leader as an instrument to deliver His people.
"[then] The Lord said to Gideon, "The people with you are far too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.' Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, 'Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home...'" Then 22,00 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained."
Gideon stands by and watches as 22,000 men leave. (That's 22,000 sword-bearing bodies that would have been helpful to win this battle against the enemy.)
Maybe the uneasiness has started to set in for Gideon. Maybe he's sweating in fear.
But he still continues on, doing what the Lord commands.
I can picture Gideon looking around and seeing 10,000 people left. Yeah, 10,000 men could still work. He grabs up his sword and takes a step forward, "Ok, let's g-..."
(v4) "And the Lord said to Gideon, "The people are still too many...""
Uh oh. Gideon may be feeling a little more queasy now. "But, hey, the fleece was set out TWICE, so I gotta trust in the Lord. Just, please, Lord, let it be 5,000 men...or even 4,000." (With eyes closed and fingers crossed.)
Nope. Sorry, Gid.. ONLY 300 MEN STAYED. (That's only 3% left over!)
SIDENOTE: The 300 men who remained were men who stayed alert while drinking from their hands - eyes fixed on enemy lines. Whereas the others just fell onto their knees and drank up, unaware that they could be killed by their enemy any second. WE HAVE TO STAY ALERT TO REMAIN A PART OF GOD'S ARMY, otherwise, we become lax and lazy and USELESS.
Ok, back to Gideon. Here is the crux of the whole story - what everything was building up towards...
God remained faithful.
God remained faithful.
Gideon tried doing it his way.
God gave up...NO!
God remained faithful.
Ok, Gideon, you have 300 men to go up against a whole army camp. What will you do?
(v9-11) "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. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp." Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the armed men who were in the camp."
The Lord did not choose a great warrior to win this battle. He didn't choose a man with great courage.
He chose Gideon.
BUT the Lord doesn't just say, "I choose you, now go do it." He helps Gideon. He acknowledges Gideon's fear and SENDS a helper along the way.
After all he's been through, after all the times the Lord has proven faithful to him, is Gideon still scared? YES! Does God still choose him? YES! Is Gideon alone? NO!
So Gideon goes down with his servant, Purah, and they sneak into the enemy camp. They see the enemy's massive army. They overhear a dream from one of the soldiers and another man interprets the dream saying, "...God has given into [Gideon's] hand Midian and all the camp." (v14)
SIDENOTE: Gideon and Purah heard the confirmation AFTER they stepped out. Notice they needed to take that step of faith FIRST before they could see victory.
(v15) "As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped."
The rest of the story is simple: Gideon's faith was strengthened and they won the battle.
It said that the enemy's camels were "...without number as the sea by the seashore." This seemed an impossible task.
Yet the Lord used Gideon as an instrument to bring glory to Himself.
What an honor.
Gideon was able to be a part of the Lord's victory. If he hadn't stepped out in faith, he would not have seen God's hand move in such a mighty way. No matter his fear, God still called Gideon a "valiant, mighty warrior." No matter his doubts, God still chose him to lead the Israelites to victory.
What impossible task or battle has the Lord asked you to step into?
God is all-powerful. So believe that, when He asks something of you, HE WILL PROVIDE A MEANS FOR IT.
And you are NOT alone.
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever, that is the Spirit of truth, who, the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17
The Lord is WITH you.
His Spirit WITHIN you.
There is no "can't" with God. You are UNSTOPPABLE with Him.
The only thing to get in the way of accomplishing God's work is YOURSELF.
Don't be discouraged. The Lord is WITH you.
He has plans for you. Know that His intentions towards you are good and beautiful. Let Him fight your battles. Do all in HIS NAME that HE BE GLORIFIED. Remember to worship as Gideon did; to give praise and thanks due His name. For throughout all our struggles and trials and fears...
GOD REMAINS FAITHFUL.
The story of Gideon shows that God can use even the least of these to bring forth His mighty work.
After he accomplished so much greatness, the people of Israel wanted to appoint Gideon as ruler over them. But Gideon replies, "I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the LORD will rule over you." Judges 8:24
Gideon started out with a lack of faith in the Lord. He didn't trust God to follow through. He feared what man could do to him. (Can you relate?)
But in the end, he had no question as to WHO the victory truly belonged to.
You may ask WHY Gideon was listed in Hebrews 11, "the hall of faith."
Because God used the unlikeliest of heroes who had such a low measure of faith to begin with, to bring about His will.
God saw beyond Gideons flaws. Before Gideon was even "valiant" or "mighty", the Lord spoke those words over him because he saw what Gideon could do when he placed his faith and trust in the Lord.
Gideon went from questioning to conquering.
From fearful doubter to valiant warrior.
And he was able to do all these things BY FAITH.
~ Kissy Black