Thank You, God, for Your victory in my life. I praise You for walking before me and giving me strength.
Read Judges 7:15–24a
15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.” 16 Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.
17 “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. 18 When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”
19 Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.
22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. 23 Israelites from Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh were called out, and they pursued the Midianites. 24 Gideon sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against the Midianites and seize the waters of the Jordan ahead of them as far as Beth Barah.”
So all the men of Ephraim were called out and they seized the waters of the Jordan as far as Beth Barah.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat has God done for you?
The defeat of the massed forces of the ‘Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples’ (6:33) by Gideon and just 300 men, using their ‘trumpets and torches’ ruse, is so incredible as to put beyond doubt that the victory is God’s. Here is hard evidence of how Israel’s fortunes improve when God’s people remember Him and are faithful to their covenant obligation to worship Him alone. Against all odds, trusting in God is a safe bet!
But was Gideon’s trust totally in God? The prescribed battle cry, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon’ (18), may simply reflect the fact that the Israelite soldiers served both the Lord as His people and Gideon as their military commander. However, it might be interpreted as an attempt by Gideon to share ‘top-billing’ with God for Israel’s great triumph. Perhaps Gideon can finally now see himself as a ‘mighty warrior’ (6:12), and so is in danger of losing not only his timidity but also his humility? The prospect of stardom is powerfully seductive, as much within the church as without it! The possibility that the idolatry of self-sufficiency could creep back so quickly through the door of Gideon’s success fits well within the downward spiral pattern of Israel’s fortunes that characterizes the book of Judges as a whole.
Talk honestly to God about your own struggles with the temptation to self-promote. Are there areas of your life that you have forgotten to give glory to God?
Lord, please give me wisdom to know how to glorify You appropriately in my life.