Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 30

This entry is part 30 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap Part 29: Last week we spoke of Joshua and the harlot Rahab. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:30-31).

Part 30

Some time had passed for the children of Israel and currently they face an enemy known as the Midianites. Because of the evilness of Israel, “the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years” (Judges 6:1). The children of Israel hid themselves in caves and dens and made themselves cowards. And the children of Israel began to cry unto the Lord and were heard. An angel of the Lord came and spoke with Israel’s new champion/judge Gideon.

Gideon heard the word of the Lord and was obedient. He brought down the images of Baal and the groves. The Midianites were upset about his actions and decided to put him to death. They gave him the name Jerubbaal, meaning “Discomfiter of Baal.” To be sure that he was speaking to an angel and wasn’t being deceived he made a request of God. “And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground” (vs. 36-40).

Gideon called all the children of Israel capable of going to war and 22,000 came forth. The angel of the Lord told him that was too many and to send some home. Next, the number came down to 10,000, but again the angel of the Lord said to send more home. “And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place” (Judges 7:4-7).

What would Gideon do now? Did he have the courage to face an army with only 300 men and God? Some might find it difficult to believe and it would test the faith of any devout believer. “And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath” (vs. 20-22).

Hebrews 11 speaks of the faith of Gideon and it should be explored more closely. Do you know with surety that God protects you and has your back with the degree to which Gideon knew it? “And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude” (vs. 12). He is able to protect you from this great an army. Do you know this? We can’t think of him (God) as a man. He is God. It is a mistake to minimize God because when we do, we limit him. God is able! What did Gideon know?

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