Monday, November 26, 2012
Our Sunday evening services right now are studies in Judges. A couple of weeks ago we learned more about Gideon. Last night there were several things that struck me as we read in Judges 7.
Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. (Judges 7:3 KJV)
God was working with Gideon, taking the number of warriors down to where it would be understood by all that the salvation of Israel now was His work, not theirs. Using people’s fears was the first winnowing, and over two-thirds of the army returned home. They did not have the faith that God would keep His promises. The second winnowing left Gidean with an army of three hundred.
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 7:7 KJV)
The Lord then helps Gideon face his own fears:
And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. (Judges 7:9-11 KJV)
I’ve wondered, “Why Phurah?” What did he have that others did not? There’s no explanation in the Bible, so anything I said would be speculation – the question remains. Why did the Lord ask Gideon to face his fears with Phurah? But, he did and they gained confidence in the victory. A victory accomplished without weapons:
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. (Judges 7:20 KJV)
A trumpet in their right hands, lamps in their left, no weapons to defend themselves or attack the enemy – yet their enemy turned and fled. Gideon’s army of three hundred had responded to his leadership, his cry of “Do as I do.”
And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. (Judges 7:17-18 KJV)
Do we have the faith to move beyond our fears to allow the Lord’s leadership in our lives? To do as He says, then tell others, “Look on me, and do likewise.”