Journal Entry // June 25, 2022
The LORD said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ (ESV)Judges 7:2
I have found this passage to be true in various different applications and situations in my life. There have been so many times during the course of my journey in this life of faith where I have taken the credit or even boasted over the success or accomplishments that were brought to me by the grace and mercy of God. I have experienced times of boasting over the Lord and proclaimed that “my own hand has saved me.” I wish this statement was merely talking about the distant past. Those times early on in my journey where I did not fully understand the things of God or had the experience of his rich kindness and patience in my life. But my boasting in myself and my accomplishments are more recent than I wish to remember.
I love the faith of Gideon in this story as he is being led by the Lord to overthrow the army that was oppressing the land of Israel and the people themselves. This army of Midian was around 135,000 men and the men of Gideon’s force numbered 32,000. If I was Gideon, I would be more than a little concerned with the scale of difference. I can see my faith being there with Gideon though. I could trust and believe that the Lord could win this battle even with these lopsided odds. But the Lord knew the heart of the people (and my own heart) and knew that the people would claim victory for themselves and forget the mighty hand of God in the victory, so he reduced the size of Gideon’s force down to 10,000. Then the Lord reduced this even further and only allowed for 300 men to be part of the force to attack the Midianites.
If I am Gideon at this moment, I am more than worried. I know my faith would be melting before this enemy. I know the hand of God is in this, but this appears to be impossible. 300 men attacking a force of 135,000. That’s insanity. Yet, God is working and moving. Gideon wisely sees the calling of God on his life and is faithful to obey the word of the Lord.
I need this. I need this each and every day. There are several Midian type challenges before me and they all seem to have impossible odds. In them all, I am learning to trust the Lord as Midian did. I can see this same pattern at work in how the Lord is leading me now. He keeps reducing the number of my force in a way. He keeps humbling me. He keeps teaching me the hard and difficult lessons of patience and steadfastness. He keeps testing me to exercise my faith. To strengthen my trust in him. Will I be obedient? Will I be faithful? Will I trust him above all else? I need this story of Gideon to encourage and challenge me to faithful obedience. The Lord knows what he is doing and he knows what is best for me in this life. He is more concerned about my heart and my soul and he wants me to care for my heart and soul just as he does. He wants me to see and experience his character in my life and then to go forth and emulate what I have seen and experienced. I am to let the glory of God shine forth in my life. I am to be a witness of Jesus. First in my heart and then lived out from there. So that every action I take, every word that I say will be full of his grace and mercy flowing into the hearts of those around me.