The Gideon Perspective
As of June 2019 we started a new series of short story-essays about views, experiences and concerns from those working on closing the widening gap between the fast changing youth culture today and the slow changing culture of the church and the Christian faith.
The stories will be from those working in the trenches, youth workers, educators, parents of teenagers, young people themselves, pastors and priest, on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Gideon Perspective is where God takes weakness and difficult situations, and turns them around for His glory. He has been doing it for thousands of years. When it came time to deliver Israel from the oppressing hand of Midian, God went to the smallest tribe, to the least family within that tribe, and chose the youngest member of that family… our friend Gideon. Something special was about to occur! This study carries on from Judges Chapter 7, focuses on Gideon’s unique victory over Midian and its startling accurate portrayal of New Testament truth.
The Story of Gideon
Judges 7:1-2 Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands…’
This is not going to be an ordinary fight! Gideon has rounded up all the men he can find and they are still far short on numbers. In all 32,000 men are willing to put their lives on the line in order to help deliver Israel (vs 3). From Judges 8:10 we read the interesting fact that Midian had 135,000 fighting men, so each Israelite would have to take out roughly four Midianites for there to be victory. Pretty long odds you would think and Gideon has reason to be more than a little anxious! You can probably imagine his surprise then, when the Lord speaks to him saying ‘Gideon, you have too many men!’
Judges 7:2-3 In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
So God has decided to make Israel even weaker.
Would You Be One Of The 300?
Judges 7:3-8 But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there… So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go (home) to their own place.”
So in all, 300 people remained… that’s 300 Israelites versus 135,000 Midianites. Israel was outnumbered 450 to 1!
If you want to find out how these 300 men won from an army of 135,000 you will have to read the story from Judges 7: 9-15.
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