Page 7 - November 2018 - Truth & Tidings
P. 7

On the face of it, the odds are stacked   them. The rest is up to God.” You will
        against Gideon. Looking at the enemy,   remember that brokenness, the power of
        innumerable Midianites surround him.   God, and courage go together in Scripture.
        Looking inward, his father has an altar   Though Gideon feels the lowly size of
        to Baal. Looking around, the country is   his army, he is not afraid to divide it fur-
        wrapped in paralyzing fear. But the odds   ther. Division makes something smaller.
        are not stacked at all. Gideon is about   Surely multiplication would be preferred.
        to learn that the Lord plus nothing is a   Multiply it by 10, by 100 even. But divide it
        majority.                            into three? “Gideon, whatever will you do?
          Gideon is not thrust into the face of the   You only have 100 men in your company.”
        enemy immediately. He has been more   Still, he moves on, recalling, “Have not I
        concerned about the external oppression   sent you?”
        than the internal condition. Isn’t that often   The Lord does not even have to use that
        the way? First, he has some cleaning up to   small number. In the darkness, the break-
        do at home, so he tears down his father’s   ing of the pitchers, the blazing torches,
        altar. Next, in great uncertainty, he lays   and the blaring trumpets raise the sleeping
        down the fleece of wool. Then, in fear, he   Midianite army. What happens next is the
        goes to the Midianite camp at night and   Lord’s doing. God “set every man’s sword
        learns that God has spoken to them as well.   against  his  fellow”  (Judges  7:22, KJV).
        Each step gives him a greater appreciation   Gideon must certainly have felt small to see
        for God. The Lord graciously walks with us   such decimation of the enemy. That sense
        in small steps as our courage grows. You   of “small” is a spiritually healthy feeling.
        might ask, “Where is the courage?” The   You will remember others who were used
        story mentions his fear several times, but   of God after asking, “Who am I?”
        the Biblical reason for courage is God Him-  We  also,  in  our  turn,  will  face  over-
        self. Gideon’s fear is receding, and soon he   whelming problems, especially “people”
        will feel as Paul did: “I know Whom I have   problems. May the Lord grant us Biblical
        believed” (2Tim 1:12, KJV).          courage to stand, and help us to remem-
          Gideon’s army is not large, but sud-  ber the broken pitchers, and to leave the
        denly  he  is  left  with  only  10,000  men.   swords with God. David summed it up
        We might ask, “What will you do with   years later: “The battle is the Lord’s” (1Sam
        merely 10,000?” But “merely” is not part   17:47, KJV).
        of his vocabulary now. The presence of
                                               There’s more to this story. As Gideon got
        God has gripped him, changed him. “I   older he lost his grip. Maybe he coasted
        am with you” fills his horizon. But then,   on easy street. Maybe he grew proud as
        at the water, others are sent home and 300
        remain. Can you imagine this little com-  his exploits were rehearsed. It is easy to
        pany marching through the town? Maybe   get cold, to imagine the source of courage
                                             is in self. May the Lord preserve us as we
        somebody smirks, “Chosen because they
        don’t drink like others. How inspiring!”   age. O Lord,
        Mind you, that would be a good testimony    Keep us cleaving to Thyself
        to have even today. Somebody else might        And still believing,
        ask, “Whatever will you do with pitchers?”   Till the hour of our receiving,
        He would answer, “We’re going to break       Promised joys in heaven.”

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