May 25, 2015
Judges 7-Part 1
And the LORD said to Gideon, "Every one who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink. Judges 7:5b (English Standard Version)
LET IT GLOW
There have been times, when we road on the back of a pick up truck down to the creek, that the family dog followed us. Being a hot summers day, of course the dog became thirsty. Have you ever watched a dog drink from a stream? I have. They lower their head and lap the water with their tongue. Duh! Sometimes the dog will even wade out into the water, too. It is not at all concerned with its surroundings, only focused on getting a drink. Who would think that something so simple as drinking water, lapping like a dog, would be a test for who is not included in an army? Read on, dear one.
Too many? In comparison to 135,000 which numbered the Middianite army, and 32,000 in the Israelite army, Israel had too many? Yes, in God's eyes it was. Lest the people take the credit, the number in Israel's army had to be reduced. God wanted the glory for the victory, and rightfully so, He deserved it. So how did it get reduced? Let's read how God used His process of elimination:
- 22,000 men that were afraid and fearful were allowed to return home.
- 10,000 remained, who were put to the drinking test.
- 9,700 drank water by lapping it like a dog, so they were sent home.
- 300 men in the Israelite army remained.
While reading commentaries, I ran across words like self-sufficiency, pride, fear, afraid, untrained, and inexperienced to describe the Israelites. Yet God had told Gideon that he would save Israel through his hand.
The MacArthur Bible Commentary states:
Those of faith, though inadequate by human weakness, gain victory, only through God's power (2Cor. 3:5; 4:7; 12:7-9). Three hundred men win against an incredible Midianite host (Judges 7:7, 16-25). God gains the glory by making the outcome conspicuously His act and, thus, no sinful pride is cultivated.How trustworthy is the hand of God! When He speaks, I obey. Then we see how He works things out for us, in us, and through us. It is not of our works, but His works that brings the victory of a situation. (Hey, I am talking to myself here.) He lightens the load when we turn the problem over to him. Let God take the reigns, for He reigns.
LET IT GROW
Shall we take a closer look at the process of elimination?
- First of all, those men who were fearful and afraid were allowed to return home. (verse 3)
- Next, God instructed Gideon to bring the 10,000 men that were left, down to the water for a test. God had a plan and Gideon followed it. Gideon was to divide the men into two groups: those who lapped the water like a dog, and those who knelt down to drink, cupping the water in their hands to take it to their mouth, which allowed them to look around for any enemy's surprise attack. (You might say that the lapping dogs went home.)
- Finally, the latter group, which numbered 300, was chosen to be in Gideon's army.
Gideon must have been completely in shock by now, and in order to prepare him to win the battle that would follow, God brought about an unusual set of circumstances. (Falwell)
Come back tomorrow and we will discover what they were.
Are we following God's directions down to a T? Step by step? Doing things His way will ensure the victory for us.
LET IT GO
Ask God for His plan of victory in a situation.
Follow His battle plan, step by step.
Let those who are afraid, leave, and don't judge them for it.
Encourage those who stay to help with the project or situation, although they may be few in number.
Lead with faith and power of the Holy Spirit.
Give God the credit and glory for the victory.
*Let's remember to pray for our military people and their families as they sacrifice in order for us to live in a free country. Also, be thankful for all those who have served previously and those who gave their life for us.