Thank God today that, whatever battle you may fight, he is with you and will be helping and protecting you.
Read JUDGES 7:1-14
 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. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’  Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.'” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.  But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”  So 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.  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 others go home.”  So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others. Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley.  During that night the LORD said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands.  If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah  and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp.  The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.  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.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy did God say Gideon had too many soldiers?
In today’s passage, we learn that, as far as God is concerned, Gideon’s appeal for troops was seriously oversubscribed. There were far too many soldiers available. Let’s look at the numbers. The enemy was “like a swarm of locusts” (12 CEV), estimated at 135,000 (see 8:10). Gideon has 32,000: he is outnumbered by more than four to one. By human standards, they are about to get a terrible thrashing. God says, however, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands” (2). Then we see Gideon, Mighty Warrior Stage III, obediently reducing his forces by more than 99 per cent to just 300 men. No ifs, ands or buts, just obedience. So Gideon obeys, but he is still afraid. God knows this and in his kindness makes provision for Gideon’s encouragement (11). God knows my potential, but he also knows my frailties and weaknesses. No matter what our strengths or calling may be, he still sees our shortcomings, including our need for encouragement. He makes provision for this: just like a good teacher or godly human father, he encourages as well as challenges us. That’s all part of his loving care.
Who needs your encouragement today? Decide who they are and how you will encourage them. Then be sure to do it.
Lord, I know I often need Your encouragement. I want to be an encourager for others in the same way.
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