The story of Gideon In the Book of Judges seems to be there for one reason: To teach us that status and ample resources are not God’s way of solving problems. We can never be outsmarted or outnumbered when we do things God’s way.
The Midianites were raiding the Israelites orchards and farmlands. This brought poverty and starvation. They fled their homes and lived in caves and dens in the mountains (Judges 6:6). It also made them cry out to God. Gideon was the man God picked to defeat the Midianites. But Gideon wasn’t sure about that: “My family is the poorest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father’s house” (v 15).
Gideon amassed an army of 22,000 to fight the Midianites. God said, it’s too many. Let everyone who is afraid go back. 12,000 left. God said there are still too many. I don’t want Israel boasting that it was their own army that saved them. God sent everyone back except 300. Against a multitude!
Judges 7:12 describes the army the 300 were sent to fight: “The Midianites, Amalekites, and all the Kedemites were lying in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could not be counted, for they were as many as the sands on the seashore.” Gideon’s 300 soldiers stood on the hills above the valley. Each soldier carried a torch concealed inside a large jar. On signal from Gideon they broke their jars and shouted. From the valley floor it looked a vast army was descending on the encamped
soldiers. In the dark, they started fighting each other. None survived. Gideon’s army was three days carrying away the plunder.
Of course, all of this was God’s idea. The Israelites reclaimed their farms and lands and the Midianites never tried again. Are you feeling outsmarted or outnumbered? Put your trust in God. Gideon wasn’t sure up front. How about you?
John Pisula, Grand Knight: [email protected]
Joe Cox, Council Lecturer: [email protected]