And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Judges 7:2.
It had been made a law in Israel that before they went to battle the following proclamation should be made throughout the army: “What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.” And the officers were to speak further to the people, saying, “What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart” (Deuteronomy 20:5-8).
Because his numbers were so few compared with those of the enemy, Gideon had refrained from making the usual proclamation. He was filled with astonishment at the declaration that his army was too large. But the Lord saw the pride and unbelief existing in the hearts of His people. Aroused by the stirring appeals of Gideon, they had readily enlisted; but many were filled with fear when they saw the multitudes of the Midianites. Yet, had Israel triumphed, those very ones would have taken the glory to themselves instead of ascribing the victory to God.Gideon obeyed the Lord’s direction, and with a heavy heart he saw twenty-two thousand, or more than two thirds of his entire force, depart for their homes.
The Lord is willing to do great things for us. We shall not gain the victory through numbers, but through the full surrender of the soul to Jesus. We are to go forward in His strength, trusting in the mighty God of Israel. There is a lesson for us in the story of Gideon’s army…. The Lord is just as willing to work through human efforts now, and to accomplish great things through weak instrumentalities.
Conflict and Courage p. 127
—–Please pray for my dad who had a stroke a few days ago and is unable to talk. Erin
—– please put Aurelia on your prayer list. she is nauseated dizzy and other problems they are going to do an MRI to see if she has a brain tumor. Mary
—–Please pray for my friend’s daughter who is ill, double vision, nausea and cat scan showing “something”. Her name is Breann. Parents are very worried, as we all are. M
When Eileen was in 4th grade, she was friends with a boy in her class at school and at church who enjoyed doing things to irritate people. This made leading out in Primary class very difficult for me. Paul had the ability of repeating loudly everything a person said a split second after they did. He thought it was great fun, but I didn’t. It made it very hard for me to talk or even to think.
His mother taught in that class. I expected that she would keep her son from practicing his “talent” while I was speaking, but she let him continue with his mimicking ways. Each week I dreaded going to church because I knew that Paul would be there delighting in getting me flustered and confused.
One day, I talked with Martha and suggested that she cure her son of this bad habit. I asked her how she could sit there beside her son and not stop him from disrupting the class. She said that she was so used to it, that she no longer noticed. She thought that I was being unreasonable. Reluctantly, she began telling Paul to stop everytime he began repeating abilities.
How many times, we are like Martha. We get so used to sin, that sin no longer appears sinful. We are so comfortable with it that we no longer notice it even when it is “sitting beside us.” “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” yet, we must never allow ourselves to become comfortable with it. Rom 3:23 Paul advises, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” 6:12,13 James adds, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.” James 1:13-16
How vital to our present and future happiness it is that we “be sober, be vigilant, because [our] adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 Paul tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph 6:12-17
May sin become exceedingly distasteful to us. May we “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” and gain the victory over sin through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. vs. 11 May we, in whatsoever we do, in whatsoever we say, in whatsoever we think “do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31