Judges 7:9-18

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 22, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“During that night the Lord said to Gideon, 'Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.' So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp. The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.
Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. 'I had a dream,' he was saying. 'A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.'
His friend responded, 'This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.'
When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, 'Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.' Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.
'Watch me,' he told them. 'Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’” (Judges 7:9-18)

Last week we read about how God took Gideon’s already outnumbered army from 32,000 men down to only 300, so they could fight the huge Midianite army.

Naturally, Gideon was afraid going into this battle. He had less than 1% of his original army left, and the odds were definitely not in his favor. God had a plan, however, and the huge difference in the size of the armies was to show His glory. Gideon was getting discouraged and desired another sign from God, so that he could be convinced that God really would make them victorious over the Midianites.

God gives Gideon a sign in the form of a dream, but not his own dream. In that culture, dreams were considered an important means of communication from the divine. Think back to Joseph (of the coat of many colors fame) and the dreams he had, foreshadowing how God would bless him by making his brothers and father bow down to him (Genesis 37:1-11). After sneaking into the enemy camp at God’s insistence, Gideon overhears one of the Midianites telling another about a dream he had. In that dream, it was clear even to the Midianites that God was going to make Israel victorious over them.

This eavesdropping was entirely not coincidence, so that was exactly the sign that Gideon needed. He worshipped God, then got Israel ready for a sneak attack battle.

The trumpets used in battle were more for noise-making and signaling to other parts of the army than for playing music. Normally only the leaders would have trumpets, so having 300 of them (one for each man) in this case made it sound like they were a much larger army than they were. That was part of the plan to surprise and confuse Midian’s army.

Gideon’s instructions to his army probably sounded weird to them. After all, who could win a battle simply by blowing trumpets and yelling? (Apparently they had forgotten about Jericho back in Joshua 6.) This sounded like a strange way to win a battle, but Gideon and his army needed to have confidence in God’s plan, as weird as it may sound to them. They knew that without God’s power, their puny army didn’t stand a chance against Midian’s large army.

Size doesn’t matter when you’re dealing with God’s plan. The little guy can win over the giant with God’s help (think David and Goliath). Do you feel weak, powerless, and insignificant? That’s the best time to have trust in God and let Him use you and your life to fulfill His purposes. How are you letting God use you?

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