You plus God make the majority

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

When we are faced with a major decision, an obstacle we can’t seem to overcome, or a financial or physical problem that just seems too much for us to handle, what do we do? Some great lessons can be learned from General Gideon in the book of Judges, chapters 6 and 7.

Gideon and the children of Israel were oppressed by the Midianites. Every year at harvest time, their crops were stolen away and the Israelites were left shaking in their boots for fear.

God told Gideon, a poor farmer, that he was going to be the man who would rise up, form an army, and defeat the enemy.

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To make a long story short, Gideon recruited an army of 32,000 men. This was no match for the Midianites who boasted of a force of 135,000 soldiers.

If those odds, of about four to one, weren’t bad enough, guess what happens next?

God tells Gideon his army is just too big. If they were to defeat the enemy with that many soldiers, they would think they had won the victory in their own power, and God would not get the glory.

So, God instructs Gideon to tell the soldiers who are fearful to go home. Immediately, 22,000 do an about face and return home.

That leaves only 10,000 soldiers. If that’s not discouraging enough, God gives another order.

He says the army is still too big, so he puts them to another test. Everyone who is not cautious is removed, also. Gideon watches them as they drink from the river or lake.

If they just jump in and drink, forgetting that they are soldiers and there is a war going on, they are removed from the ranks.

If they were cautious, by scooping up the water in their hands and lapping it like a dog, while looking around watching for the enemy, they passed the test and were worthy of fighting the battle before them.

By now, Gideon has only 300 soldiers left. Those 300 take the enemy by surprise in the middle of the night. They break down into three companies and surround the enemy.

Each soldier blows a trumpet, breaks a pitcher used to hide his torch and convinces the enemy that they are surrounded by thousands of soldiers. The Midianites are certain they will be defeated.

The result — the Midianites begin to fight among themselves and then turn and run away from the battle.

The lesson we can learn from this story is this.

Gideon, his army and God made the majority. Little is much when God is in it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. If God be for us, who can be against us?

If we will simply put our trust in God, obey his word, and go his way, we will be victorious. We will get the victory, and God will get the glory.

The next time we think we just don’t have what it takes to fight the battles of life, let’s remember the story of Gideon and his small army of 300 soldiers.

As God was with Gideon, so will he be with you and me. We are on the winning side.

Our weapons are spiritual weapons, like prayer, the Bible and the power of God’s Spirit in us. With God on our side, we are the majority.

Pastor Dale E. Maddy

is senior pastor of the Carter Avenue Community Church, 2020 Carter Avenue

Ashland, Ky. 41101.