Today’s Judges passage focused on Gideon’s story. It’s got some real highs and some lows. I’ll focus on the highs.
First, Gideon puts out the fleece to make sure God really will save Israel by Midian’s hand.
Then there’s the battle against Midian where God keeps reducing the size of Israel’s army (from 32,000) so that the nation can’t say, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ (7: 2 NIV). Instead, they’ll give God the glory when they win against all odds. The final 300 men that go into battle do so because
… Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. Judges 7: 5-6
The Lord tells Gideon to take the 300 dog-like-lappers into battle. That’s crazy!
Gideon is taking 300 men into battle against thousands and he’s rightly a bit nervous (despite God’s promise that he’ll win), so God tells him to sneak into the Midianite camp and listen to what the enemy is saying:
Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.” His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.” Judges 7: 13-14
What a crazy dream! Again, who could make this stuff up? And how did the friend come up with this interpretation? How did he read into a loaf of rolling barley bread that Israel would defeat Midian?
But they did.
Israel surrounded the Midian camp, blew trumpets (remember Jericho?), lit torches, and shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” (vs. 21)
The Midianites were so frightened and disoriented, they ended up running around and killing each other. Read the story yourself for the details.
Once more, God won the battle.
I need to remember that more than I do, that God will win – no matter how meager my resources. In fact, that’s how He prefers it – because it forces my dependence and reveals His care and control.
By the way, the Prodigal Son was the story in Luke today. If you’ve not read Tim Keller’s The Prodigal God, it will really open up the parable to you in encouraging and convicting ways.
Today’s Readings: Judges 6:33-8:35, Psalm 49:10-20, Proverbs 14:22-241, Luke 15:11-32. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).