No .07 Gideon
When it comes to action and battles, the bible is seriously packed full of this stuff. Don’t shy away from reading these passages, it can be hard to read but it is in the bible and needs to be explored. Some of it is very graphic and will leave you questioning how God was in this stuff, but that’s ok! You’re not meant to understand and be able to fathom all of God’s moves, that won’t ever be the case.
Gideon was hiding away in a winepress threshing wheat, not because he had invented a new and more environmentally friendly way to do it, he was fearing for his life. Let me set the scene.
The action starts with the Israelites being disobedient again in their agreement and relationship with God. So, God sent oppression and strife their way from the neighbouring nations. The Midianites that attacked were particularly vicious and punished the Israelites big time. (Remember what I was saying about God doing stuff and allowing things in the Old Testament that are hard to look back on for us today?)
The Israelites were so impoverished they had lost land, cattle, homes the lot and had fled to the caves for safety. Gideon is doing all he can, but he is from the smallest clan and the least in the family (and oh, that’s a dangerous place to be when God is looking for action!)
“Broken heart, broken spirit and looking to hide away. Have you ever felt like that?”
God promises Gideon that this will be sorted. The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Judges 6:16
God gives Gideon a plan and a promise, and puts some fire back in his heart again. Gideon trashes the old religious icons and symbols to the false gods the people had started to worship, a revolution was stirring!
Let me cut a long story short, Gideon managed to get 32,000 men together but the enemy had joined forces, there was a lot of enemy! The bible says that in their camp they were thick like locusts, more camels than the grains of sand on the shore! Oh dear!
But God spoke to Gideon and basically told him you he had too many men!
Well, lets just say at the end of this sifting process he is left with 300 fellas looking at him with spears, clubs, trumpets, empty jars and lit torches. Yeah, doesn’t sound like a win to me!
At night Gideon and his 300 men, circled as much of the camp as they could, with a mighty trumpet call they all shouted and held up their empty jars with torches in and smashed them.
A few things happened next. The enemy below assumed that with each light they could see was an army of men not just one bloke on his tod! They were literally surrounded and outnumbered. Then they decided that their newly formed alliance wasn’t actually that deep after all, and panic and chaos broke out, so they drew blades on each other and hacked each other to pieces. (God was sorting the chaos out!).
So, God took Gideon, with a broken heart and spirit, fearful and desperate and God gave them the most incredible victory. Sometimes, when I wrestle with the plan, when I can’t see all the details or even just get a glimpse at what on earth God is doing, I remember Gideon. You don’t always need to know, you need to trust that God is and will be working and sometimes that’s all we can do!
Image Credit: Word for WORD Bible Comic
The Word for WORD Bible Comic is a historically accurate, unabridged and untamed graphic novel of the Bible with a high view of Scripture.