Gideon’s Mighty Army

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Welcome back, miracle seekers!

The Lord’s miracles didn’t end at Jericho.  Time-after-time God has proven Himself faithful to His people, and often that meant putting them in a position of total and complete dependence upon Him.

Gideon is an example, but before we read the account, let’s make personal application.  Have you ever felt as though the Lord stripped you of resources, only to ask you to “go to battle?”   At times, the Lord seems to remove friends or resources at just the time we seem to need them most.  However, we must remember that, in those times, God is moving us to a place of utter dependence upon Himself.  When we trust Him and His plan for our lives, we see Him accomplish what only He can.

Gideon experienced this when Israel was oppressed by the Midianites.  Today’s passage is longer than normal, but make at least a quick read of Judges 6-7.

God had given the sons of Israel into the hands of the Midianites because they had done evil in His sight.  As a result, Midian devastated the land of Israel.  So, the Israelites were brought low and began crying out to the Lord.  What was His response in Judges 6:7-10?

According to Judges 6:11-18, the angel of the Lord visited Gideon.  God promised to give Midian into the hand of Gideon, and Gideon responded in worship and honor to the Lord.  He prepared a sacrifice and built an altar to the Lord.  Then, after receiving the Lord’s instruction, he set his sights on destroying the altar of Baal, risking his life in the process.  This displeased the followers of Baal and Judges 6:33 tells us that the Midianites and Amalekites assembled against Gideon and his men.  Let’s pick it up in Judges 6:36-40.

Gideon wanted full assurance that he really had a promise from God, thus he “put out a fleece.”  God gave Gideon his sign and prepared him to face the task at hand.  God was about to work a miracle on behalf of Gideon and the Israelites!

In Judges 7:1-4, we learn that Gideon had too many men to go to battle!  The Lord did not want them to say, “My own power has delivered me.”  Thus, according to v 3, anyone who was afraid was allowed to depart from Mount Gilead.  Gideon’s troops were cut down from 32,000 to 10,000!

What is God’s message to Gideon in verses 4-8, and how many men did the Lord leave at Gideon’s command?  What is God’s promise in verse 9 and verse 15?

Just as God gave victory to Joshua at Jericho before the battle was ever fought, God assured Gideon that He had already given the Midianites into his hands!  The victory was already won!  Now, let’s discover God’s miracle on behalf of Gideon and the Israelites.  According to verse 16, what weapons were at the disposal of Gideon’s men?

Who has ever won a battle with trumpets, empty pitchers and torches?  Surely God was at His miracle-working best!  According to vv19-25, how was victory won?

Another miraculous war victory!  According to verse 22, the Midianites turned their swords against one another!  File that away, as that is not the last time we will hear that!  Indeed, even when Israel “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (Judges 6:1), God provided a means of repentance and was gracious to respond to their needs.  He whittled down Gideon’s army to the point where victory was out of reach, except through the miraculous intervention of the Lord!

Be encouraged, my friend!  In ancient times and in recent times, God’s hand has worked miracles on behalf of His people!  As grafted in members of God’s chosen family, He will go to incredible lengths to bring about miraculous victory in our lives as well!  That’s reason to celebrate!

We have spent a couple days in Harbor Past and will move to Harbor Future tomorrow.  Stay aboard, as you won’t want to miss tomorrow’s adventure!

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