Week 5 of Judges – The Battle!

Judges 7:17-22 – The Battle!

17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.

18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.

20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.

22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.

Here we go! The big moment that chapter 6 and 7 has been leading up to, Gideon’s battle against the Midianites! The plan was brilliant! Gideon had his 300 men with trumpets and torches, possible covered in the clay pots. All the men snuck to different places around the camp in the middle of the night (somewhere around 10pm to midnight). When Gideon gave his signal, the all blew their trumpets and broke their pots, probably revealing the lights that were most likely hidden underneath and then yelled a battle cry. The Midianites heard this and freaked out! All of the sudden, there were 300 lights, which they probably thought had a whole troop of soldiers behind it (fooled them!) and they wanted to get out of there as fast as they could! Suddenly, Midianites are running around in circles, trying to escape, swinging their swords, and have no idea what is going on!

God allowed Gideon to lead his troops into this because Gideon was obedient to God. When we are obedient to God, we get to see Him do great things! God’s plan is always the best plan. In the passage, Gideon and his 300 men got to defeat an army without lifting a single sword. All they did was obey and they got to see God work! It’s fair to say that we all want to see God work through us in one way or another, but we need to learn to obey God, even through our doubts and uncertainties.

Life Step: Think about it…

What kind of things might we miss out on when we do not obey God?

With what do you need to be more obedient to what God wants?

Week 5 of Judges – God Has a Plan

Judges 7:16 – God Has a Plan

16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.

Now the soldiers are probably starting to think the Gideon really has a screw loose or something! The Bible doesn’t say if God directly told Gideon this plan or if Gideon had a moment of brilliance, but however Gideon found out this idea, it is clearly orchestrated by God. As if God hadn’t been going about this battle oddly enough, anyways, now He adds another twist into His plan. He doesn’t even give the army any weapons! Gideon gives all of his men a trumpet, a clay pot, and a lamp. Not only has God cut down Israel’s army to almost no one (remember, these are only 300 people), but now they don’t even have swords to fight back with! Just imagine if our military sent soldiers to go fight, but did not give them a gun, knife, or grenades; they would be defenseless!

These men, were defenseless on their own. However, they were not alone, they had God fighting on their side! Although for us, and probably for these soldiers, this seems like a crazy plan, God knew what He was doing. The important thing is, they obeyed. If they would have stuck with the kind of plan that would be common sense (get the biggest army you can and fight), the Israelites didn’t really stand a chance. God’s plan, however, is very different from our plans.

When things really don’t make sense, the best thing to do is just to trust Him anyways! It’s important to remember that God always has a plan and that He always know what’s going on, even when we don’t and that we still obey Him even when we are not sure what He’s doing.

Life Step: Think about it…

What are some things that happen in life that cause use to be unsure about God’s plan?

How does it affect us that God is always there and in control?

Week 5 of Judges – God’s Reassurance

Judges 7:9-15 – God’s Reassurance 

And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.

10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:

11 And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.

12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.

13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.

14 And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.

15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.

God has a wonderful way of reassuring His children! Gideon, again, is doubting God’s plan for the battle. The Lord speaks to him and tells him to bring another man and go hear what people are saying in the Midianites’ army. Apparently, one of the soldiers had a dream about Gideon defeating them and when Gideon heard this, he came back very encouraged! Do you think that Gideon overheard that conversation by accident? No way! God was reassuring His servant for the mission.

God does not want us to fear! He wants us to be reassured that He is with us! Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Are you scared and worried? That is not God’s plan for you! God spoke to Gideon, and Gideon obeyed and that lead to his reassurance from God. Today, God speaks through His Word, the Bible. Do you obey it? If you want God’s comfort and reassurance, obedience is a great place to start!

Life Step: Think about it…

In what ways are we not obedient to God?

What would have happened if Gideon hadn’t obeyed God?

Does the answer to the above question have any significance for us?

Week 5 of Judges – God’s Way

Judges 7:1-8 – God’s Way

(1) Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
(2) And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
(3) Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
(4) And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
(5) So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
(6) And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
(7) And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.
(8) So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

Soon, Israel is going to be in a battle for its very existence, but God seems to be doing things a little strangely! The Midianites have a sizable army, but Israel had a decent army (still not as large as the Midianites), but then God starts to cut down Israel’s army! First, he cuts it down to 22,000, but God wanted more. He cut it down even more to 300!

This is totally backwards to our way of thinking. We would think that we need MORE people. The human thought is that the more soldiers against an army, the better chance of victory. However, God tends to do things a little bit differently than we would. First Corinthians 1:27 says that “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;“. God normally uses things (and people) that we, as humans, look at and thing “impossible!”

God has big things planned for you. It doesn’t matter what you can’t do, God just wants you to obey, like Gideon!

Life Step: Think about it…

Why would God choose to use “foolish things” to accomplish His will?

What kind of things do we struggle to obey God with?