Sunday, August 16, 2009

God of the Impossible: Gideon & his 300

We all go through the storms and fires in our lives. Some of us will even reach the end of our ropes and feel that nothing is ever gonna change the situation we are in. But sometimes when we are in our lowest in life we need to just step back and let God take over. We need not continue to struggle and fight with whatever it is that we are dealing with because we will only exhaust ourselves. We must come to a point in our lives when we should acknowledge that most of the wars we're waging are against an enemy that is far greater than us. Our fight is greater than what we imagine. 

The bible says "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). If this is the real score, how proud can we be to think we are capable of winning against that? That is why when the going gets tough, I say we need to let God going!

God is bigger than anything that is in this world. He is our creator and He is more powerful than the circumstances we find ourselves in. He is able, He is strong, He is mighty! When I feel so overwhelmed by the cloud of darkness that surrounds me that builds up from the storms I face in this life, I love to go back to the stories of victory of the many godly people in the bible who acknowledged their frailties before God and have stepped back from the picture to let Him fight the battle for them. Oh! There are so many wonderful stories of frail, outnumbered men in the bible who believed in the powerful and mighty hand of their God and have watched enemies greater than themselves cower in defeat and die before them as God fought their battles towards victory! 

I want to share the top 3 victory stories that I love in the bible and I pray that by the end of each post, you who are facing a great army of the powers of this world, will realize that in times like these we need only to stand still before our Almighty God and watch Him deliver us into victory beyond our imagination! Sit back then and see the deliverance of God for those whom He call His!

#3 - GIDEON and His 300 
(Judges 6 - 7)

It was just another typical day in Gideon's life. As part of the generation of Israelites who have reached the Promised Land, he and his family were at the time when the people of Israel were already doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord - they served idols. Israel failed to take the entire Promised Land for reasons of being unfaithful, sinful, disobedient and compromising to the very things God has forbade them to do since the time of their forefathers. Because of this, God has allowed the Israelites to be captured and handed over to the hands of their enemies. They eventually became oppressed and distressed people. Yet, God is not only a just God but He is also a good God. He has been faithful to His people and has allowed judges to rise up during these oppressive times of Israel. They were not perfect people, but God still used them mightily to bring forth a victory that brings glory to His name.  Gideon was one of the judges God has chosen to lead Israel to one of the victories they have during this time. 

Gideon might have been singing his favorite song or thinking about how difficult life is while he was threshing wheat in secret. The Midianites will plunder whatever harvest they have as they did before so he had to do this in order for his family to have food. Out of the blue, though, an angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and blurted out that he was going to be sent as a "mighty warrior"! Gideon must have stood there totally bewildered by this and he was probably laughing at the back of his mind thinking "Me? A warrior? You must really be kidding!". He was so deep into the sinful culture of the Israelites that he didn't even have any faith on the apparition anymore, not even after the angel showed him a sign that he requested - fire consumed the meat and an unleavened loaf that Gideon placed on a rock as the angel's staff touched it and the angel disappeared! Now what would you do if you are there to see that?! Gideon's faith in God's calling and sovereignty was small enough to even have him ask for 2 more signs later on if He was really going to be sent by God Himself to lead Israel into battle.

Now Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern people joined forces and made camp in a place called the Valley of Jezreel. Imagine the fleets of warriors they must have put together with this pact and Israel was going to be the enemy. Gideon initially had been able to gather some 32,000 men in his army which seemed to be a good number to fight with the joint forces. He might have been beaming with courage by this time and so ready to strike into war with all 32,000 of them with him. Unfortunately for Gideon, God had other plans. He had Gideon command those who fear to turn and leave which left them with only 10,000! Gideon must have thought "Gee wheez, Lord! Remember these are JOINT forces we're trying to wage war with here, in case you didn't notice." But the God of the bible is not the God of the difficult but of the impossible! What He had commanded Gideon to do after that must have left Gideon in shock with his jaw dropping. God furthermore sifted his 10,000 men and left only 300, yes 300, in his army! Tough war you think for the Israelites? Nah, it was an IMPOSSIBLE war!

The God of the impossible delivers us from our battles in ways we can never imagine! Take Gideon and his 300 men, for example. God didn't give them fiery swords and beaming shields for the war they were to make. God didn't give them powerful skills and swift feet to defeat the mighty battalion they were about to face. Guess what God made them use to win the war? Trumpets and Torches!!! You know that musical instrument you blow into, called, a trumpet? Yes, that is exactly what God had Gideon and his 300 use for their war. The trumpet with one hand and a torch (yes, that piece of wood that's flaming on one end) on the other is all they had against the great force before them. But the Israelites had one very important weapon with them - the power and the might of God Himself! To make the story short, Gideon's 300 surrounded the enemy's camp in 3 companies with only torches hidden in empty jars on one hand and trumpets on their other hand. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars! They grasped their torches in the left hand and the trumpet in the right and shouted "A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!". Oh! What a great surprise that must have been to the enemy of Israel. 

This is what happened to the enemy as Gideon and the 300 held their position around the camp and waited on God's deliverance:

"While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords." (Judges 7: 21-22) 

The Israelites eventually pursued the enemy that fled and they defeated and captured them in the end. What a victory! It's hair-raising, really! Our God IS the God of the impossible! What then should we learn from Gideon's victory? If there's anything we can get from it it's this: No matter how small our faith is in God's ability to bring us victory over our battles, He is faithful to lead us to the war and He is able to win it for us! We may never understand the circumstances that surround us while we're facing our difficult times in this life, but remember this, we must only obey and believe in God's ways like Gideon and the 300 did as they stood there with only trumpets and torches in their hands. The war we're waging may be impossible to win and the weapons we're given for war may be unseemly but take heart for our God is the God of the IMPOSSIBLE!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blog Widget by LinkWithin