Today’s Reading: Judges 7:1-8:17 (additional reading Psalm 97:1-98:9 and Proverbs 14:7-8)
In today’s reading, we see that Gideon had 32,000 men that were ready to go to war against the Midianites. But God said that was too many. He didn’t want Israel to brag about their accomplishments. We see even in the Old Testament that we are not saved by works because if we were we could brag about it. Salvation is always by grace. The outcome was determined by one thing – obedience.
The Bible tells us in our Christian walk that we don’t battle against flesh and blood but it is a spiritual warfare that we fight in every day. In the account of Gideon, we can see what characteristics God is looking for in His army.
GOD CHOSE SOLDIERS WHO WERE UNAFRAID (v3) – 22,000 went home, 10,000 stayed. Ralph Waldo Emerson said ‘Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.’
GOD CHOSE SOLDIERS WHO WERE SELFLESS AND ALERT(v 4-7). All but three hundred men thought only of their own needs. They did not look up to watch for the enemy or to see to their brother’s need. The drinker’s stance seems to suggest alertness. Do you put others and God first? Do you give God the glory for victories in your life?
GOD CHOSE SOLDIERS WHO WERE DEDICATED (v7) – Only 300 remained. 32,000 to 300. No army would want God as their recruiter. But God has never lost a battle. Are you in it for the long haul? Are you committed to Christ for the rest of your days? Even when it gets hard? During 1964 in Borneo. Nepalese fighters known as Gurkhas were asked if they would be willing to jump from aeroplanes into combat against the Indonesians. The Gurkhas didn’t clearly understand what was involved, but they bravely said they would do it, asking only that the plane fly slowly over a swampy area and no higher than 100 feet. When they were told that the parachutes would not have time to open at that height, the Gurkhas replied, “Oh, you didn’t mention parachutes before!”
- Which of these three qualities do you lack?
- How can you be reminded of the victory of grace?
Father, Thank You that You are so gracious to us. That everything we have is a gift from You. Help us not to put our trust in numbers but in You. Help us to be dedicated in the way we live and to put You and others first. In Jesus’ name, Amen