YET TOO MANY

Andy Hollifield 5-17-17
Judges 7:2 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 7:4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many;…..
As I began to write this, I really wanted to focus on the call of Gideon but I felt the Lord leading a different way. I do want to mention just one quick thought about Gideon; ego was never a problem with him. He felt too insignificant to do the work God called him to do. He was a farmer that was about to lead his nation into battle although he had no military experience. I personally love the story of Gideon because with his insecurities and his hesitancy to accept his mission, he reminds me a lot of myself. I have never felt adequate for the things the Lord has allowed me to do. The reason for the title is because Gideon was a humble man leading an arrogant people. Throughout the history of Israel, they had always been delivered, been greatly blessed of God, done really good for a little while, then forgot God and all of his blessings, were taken captive and cried out to God for deliverance and the cycle started over again. Unfortunately, that mirrors the pattern of a lot of our lives as Christians.
I wanted to write about “it’s not too big” because Gideon’s story is an account of situations that were too big for Gideon and his people but not too big for God. You could also write about “not good enough” because that is how Gideon felt about himself. If ever there was a reluctant hero it is Gideon. You could also write about “what do THEY say about you?” On down in verse 10 and 11 of chapter 7 God sent Gideon and his servant Phurah down to the enemy camp to eavesdrop and see what the enemy was saying about Gideon and Israel. It is not often that what the enemy says about you is very encouraging but this time it was. One more thing I noticed when reading this is that the Spirit of the Lord didn’t come upon Gideon until after the enemy had already gather themselves against him because he had cut down the groves to their false Gods. The Lord in most cases, is not going to bless you with a backbone like a crowbar until you are already standing facing the enemy.
That is a good place to start. The fact that God doesn’t give you a big spiritual arsenal and a bunch of specially designed armor before you actually need it and often times not even then. Just to recap his life, Gideon had just finished destroying the false god Baal’s altar and groves. That was his first military act and it was a night mission because he was afraid of what the kings men might would have done to him. They had plans to kill him after he done it. Now, he has already done that and the foreign enemy has surrounded him at the same time a lot of his own nation were ready to kill him. That is a long way from being a farmers kid.
Now to chapter 7 where we find Gideon with an insufficient army for the enemy he was going to have to face. Yet in verse 2 God told him he still had too many men. He had 32000 men against his enemy’s army and it was still woefully inadequate. Now after the first test 22000 walked away. Gideon, still grasping at straws and trying to figure out how he was going to win with the 10000 he had left, he gets word from God that it is still too many. After the test of lapping water, he is now down to 300 men. Time to resign. I am reasonably sure the thought probably crossed his mind. Keep in mind that the Spirit of the Lord had already came upon Gideon in chapter 6, verse 34. Now here he was in total obedience to God and he has been instructed to deliver his nation from the enemy with only 300 men. Have you ever been there? Being completely obedient and then God pulls something like that on you? It is in those times that you learn what trust is all about.
Now is where the story gets really good. We can say that because we’re not Gideon and we already know how the story ends. I am sure he had a little different outlook on that day. Now back for a minute to where the Lord sent him and Phurah down to the enemy camp. I noticed something I had never seen before. When Gideon heard the telling of the dream from the enemy soldier, the first thing he done was worshipped. That was before he even returned to his own camp. I like what else he done in verse 15 of chapter 7. He went back to camp and told them that the Lord hath, not is going to but hath, that is past tense, delivered the enemy into their hands. That means it has already been done. All they have to do is show up. Gideon divides them into companies and gives them their weapons. They go into this night attack armed only with a light, a pitcher, and a trumpet. I like the next thing he done and I believe it is a direct result of his true worship outside the enemy camp. He told his men, you watch me and do what I do. That is definitely a missing trait among God’s men. We want everyone to mind their own business but here was Gideon saying I am your example.
I like the detail the bible gives because it is easy to paint the picture in your mind. They broke the pitchers with the lights in them in their left hand and the trumpets in their right hand. All at once they blew the trumpets, then brake their pitchers, and shouted. Keep in mind this is in the middle watch of the night, probably between midnight and 3 AM. They didn’t even have to fight because the enemy slew each other while they ran and cried and fled. But they all stood in their place round about the camp (21).
God is still no respecter of persons. What he did for Gideon he will do for you. All you have to do is stand in your place and do what he tells you to do. How many times has he come through for you even in impossible situations. Times when all logic and common sense would have said “no you can’t take anymore.” “There’s no way that will work.” God specializes in those times. You may not have much to fight with as far as weapons but you don’t need much. You may be in the beginning of the third watch of the night but he can still lead the attack. It may be too big for you but it’s not too big for him. You just stand in your place around the camp and do what he does. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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