Have No Fear - Trust Me
Could You Defeat a Huge Army of nearly one million men with only 300 Warriors?
This is the story of Gideon, not known to be a particularly courageous or powerful man, who was told by God that he would be sent to fight the Midianites (a fierce and powerful nation) and save the Israeli people. Gideon had all the fears we may face today and God reduced him to almost total helplessness to show how, even in the darkest of situations, we can trust God to provide a wonderful future for us. That is a Promise of God.
Trusting God Naturally
It’s not always easy to trust God
Maybe we have never seen God act in our life in the past. Maybe we face a situation that seems impossible to fix or overcome. We just don’t know what to do and we don’t know what it means to rely on God. Most often the thing to do is to stop going around in circles and just get quiet. It is then we may “hear from God.” He may direct us to do something that seems outrageous and absolutely impossible for us to do.
This is when we need to trust God even when it’s the hardest thing in the world to do.
Placing concern for our daily needs in God's hands is part of what it means to have a strong relationship with God. We should not be afraid or anxious when we face troubles or overwhelming circumstances. God does know we need certain things to live a Godly life. And he knows we sometimes need help when we face grief, sickness, heartache, financial loss, temptations or trials.
Gideon had the same fears and questions we do – here is his story
Gideon is a man from the bible, his story is one of many in Judges 6-8. The point of the story is to demonstrate just how far we can trust God to help us through what look like hopeless situations. When God calls upon us it may be to show others just how powerful and faithful he is. He will usually choose a person who is poor or shy or otherwise the least likely person to handle a job God has asked him to take on. God will then take away from this person all the things most people think are absolutely required to succeed in the situation.
When a person is seen to have no possible way to accomplish God's task, he or she will succeed in an incredible and very miraculous way.
This is what God wants to show us: We can trust God to help us through anything this world throws at us.
In Judges 6-8 NIV, an angel of God appeared to Gideon and said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” (It was unusual for Gideon to be called a “mighty warrior” because he was so definitely not.) Gideon looked up from his work and replied, “Pardon me, my lord, but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?
God had brought the Israelites up out of Egypt and promised Gideon’s ancestors many wonders. But, since that time the Israelites had abandoned God and worshiped many idols. God gave them much time to return to him but when they didn’t, he turned Gideon’s people over to the Midians who had done everything possible to destroy them.
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” (Gideon was the least likely in his entire clan to save Israel.)
The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” (God promised to be with Gideon and to fight his battles for him.)
It was true, God was going to use Gideon to save Israel. (You never know who or what God will use for his purposes and for getting us through very difficult circumstances.)
God wanted to show Gideon that he could absolutely trust him to protect him and to fight his battles for him.
What better way to do that than to instruct Gideon to reduce his forces and then go out and defeat the Midianites.
The Midianites had in all a million men. Gideon had around 32,000. The odds against Gideon were frightful. How could he possibly win such a battle. But that was the point!
God told Gideon to tell his men if anyone trembled with fear at the thought of fighting the huge force of Midianites that he should go home. 22,000 of his men left to go home, leaving Gideon with only 10,000 soldiers to fight the huge army of Midianites.
Judges 7:4-7 NLT, But the Lord told Gideon, “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not.” When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the Lord told him, “Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream.” Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream.
The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.”
Now Gideon’s army looked very small indeed, It seemed like an overwhelming situation, similar to what many of us may face today: How can we possibly overcome the situation in which we find ourselves? It seems impossible.
Gideon was really struggling with his trust in God to overcome the tremendous odds against victory for his small battalion of warriors.
God kindly gave him another small insight into the outcome of this battle. He told Gideon to go down to where the Midianites were camping and quietly listen. One of the Midianites told another he had just had a dream where a loaf of bread had come rolling down the hillside and knocked over all the tents in their camp. The other man said that this was a sign that Gideon would destroy them, killing every one of them. The two men were extremely fearful because this dream told them Gideon had God on his side.
Now Gideon knew God had promised to help, and he was willing to obey every word God spoke to him.
The Carefully Orchestrated Attack
Trumpets, pitchers, and torches don’t sound like powerful weapons to us today. Especially when employed by a very small battalion against an extremely large, army of enemy soldiers. (See chart to right for the size of a battalion compared to the size of an army.) →
According to God’s instructions, Gideon gave each man a trumpet to blow at the time of attack and to carry an empty pitcher with a burning torch hidden inside the pitcher. So with the trumpets in one hand, and pitchers in the other hand, Gideon and his 300 brave soldiers marched quietly down the mountain slope toward the enemy’s camp. Then they waited for Gideon’s signal.
The Midianites, except their watchmen, were sleeping soundly. At midnight, Gideon gave his signal. When his soldiers heard his trumpet they all blew a loud, long blast and yelled on every side of the camp. And the soldiers broke their pitchers revealing the torches inside. The cacophony of sound from the trumpets was so loud and the huge glare of light from the torches was so bright the Midianites were convinced that Gideon had come with a great army and would kill every one of them if they did not escape immediately.
The Victory Belongs to God
The Amazing Victory
The Midianites, believing that Gideon’s army was so huge, ran through the darkness, stumbling over each other, and falling upon each other’s swords.
The great Midianite army was destroyed and Gideon won a battle against very high odds!
Moral of the Story of Gideon
- God chose the least likely person for an important task.
God reduced Gideon's power and resources to the point where he was virtually helpless in the situation.
- Gideon prayed for help then listened for God’s instructions.
- Even with all his doubts, Gideon trusted that God would look after all his needs no matter how impossible the situation.
God set up the circumstance to show that Gideon couldn't possibly win so that Gideon couldn’t brag about the victory.
God got all the glory for this victory.
Deuteronomy 3:22 NIV
Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.
Overwhelming Odds in Your Life
Do you ever face overwhelming odds to achieve your goals?
Have No Fear — Trust Me
Even the stars in the universe provide us with a unique perspective of God's eternal help with our battles and his promise to always be with us . . . even to the ends of the universe.
You may like to go to Hubble Heritage and view the short video of the new star forming in Section 106, from the magnificent death of another star.
- The Hubble Heritage Project Website
Hubble Serves up a Snow Angel, Dec 15, 2011
To The Ends of the Earth - Hillsong
Copyright 2012 Marilyn Alexander. All rights reserved.