‘And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me… No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer’ (Jdg 7:2; 2Tim 2:4)
God raised an ‘ordinary’ man to save the nation. His name was Gideon. Led by God, that man raised an unusually small army to fight an enemy ‘as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude’ (Jdg 7:12). But this small army was ready to obey God, to fight with very special, unique, God-designed, ‘unheard of’ military weapons (trumpets, jars of clay and fire).
Just imagine what was in Gideon’s mind? To go to battle with such a ‘crazy’ mini army you need to be sure that God is with you! At the first testing, from 32000 – 10000 go away. They are the fearful, the cowards. They are disqualified to partake in the labor of success and in the joy of victory. He is now left with 22000. These are fewer but Gideon thinks that ‘he can manage’ with them. But God says ‘you still have too many… they will gang up together and try to steal My glory…I will not permit that… I will test them for you…’
God tested them at the river. Oh, the tests of God! They can come anytime! The applicants for the posts of national heroes did not know that it was a test: how to drink water when you are very thirsty… The angels, with video cameras in their wings, streamed the sight… Most of the men allowed their flesh to overpower them. For a moment, they forgot that they are still soldiers. They drank like there is no tomorrow. Losing the battle before the battle even began they went home disappointed in a God who cares about our eating and our drinking. Finally, God made His choice! He approved the 300 men who drank water like the dogs, looking around, careful to see if there is an enemy around, during the times of rest. God approved their drinking style, which was a mirror of their faithful hearts! These men loved God and wanted do His will. Even when thirsty, they were faithful like dogs are to their master. They did not forget that they were working servants. They were disciplined, patient and alert. The 300 men of valor, tested and approved by God became Gideon’s army. These people can never lose any battle! They will never desire to share in God’s glory! They consider it as the highest privilege to be soldiers under the Captain of our salvation.
This is the same old story: Man always complains that he has two little resources (money, ‘capital’, friends, education, social status, connections…) to be successful. But God is never worried about the size of your visible wealth. His Holy Spirit and His Word are always sufficient to glorify His name on the earth! These are the soldiers for Christ, faithful from their heart, faithful unto death! These are the ones who shall have the crown of life! in Christ, Kings forever! Blessed army of God! These soldiers kill the flesh so that their spirits may live! They are trained by the power of resurrection!
As believers in active duty we should strive to be in that number. For as long as we live, when in the battlefield or at home, in times of war or of peace, when praying or praising, when working or relaxing with the family, when eating or drinking, we should be found faithful, passionately desiring to please the Lord Jesus Christ and our ‘Commanding officer’ who called us to His blessed service. In Christ, God has promised that we shall always walk in triumph! From victory to victory! To the glory of the name of Jesus! Hallelujah!