And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”
So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”
Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled. When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. Judges 7:17-22
What an amazing victory God wrought! Using only 300 men, this huge enemy army was defeated by very simplistic and unbelievable means. How could trumpets, clay pots, and torches cause such panic in an overwhelming army? Perhaps we could argue that the 300 lamps and trumpets could have given the impression of a much larger force. Regardless of theories, the fact is this huge army was defeated by a much smaller force, and soundly. Only God would be able to do this impossible task. But why did Gideon feel he had to be ‘named’ in the battle cry?
In the lead-up to the battle, God winnows Gideon’s army from tens of thousands to three hundred using nonsensical means, watching how they drank water from a stream. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense, but Gideon had to be scratching his head over that one. To boot, God gives Gideon information about the impending victory, not from God’s mouth, but through the enemy’s mouth. Then, it takes Gideon’s comrade to relate the impending victory by interpreting the dream. Gideon seems to consistently lack trust in God and how he was using Gideon.
Many have experienced earnestly praying for God’s intercession in life’s issues, and feel he hasn’t done what we’ve asked. But remember Gideon. He begins with an army of tens of thousands and ends up with 300. And this little army is going against an enemy who probably resembled a stirred anthill. I’m confident Gideon felt more comfortable looking over the army of 32,000 rather than 300.
When God does work miraculously, even if it’s not how we felt it should be, sometimes we feel we’re somehow responsible for the resolution, forgetting altogether our doubts and fears. In reality, it’s more profitable for our soul to take a back seat and glorify God in his work! If Gideon had responded in this way, how much more good could God have done using Gideon as the instrument? When these victorious and miraculous moments come into your life, try throwing the victory crowns at the feet of Jesus, and glorify God! Experience the joy of Kingdom victory!
By Rich Obrecht