Following His Steps… to Mt Gilboa
When the Israelites followed the way of God, they experienced great blessing and protection from Him. They need not fear any enemy, small or large. In fact, when David unwisely decided to number his fighting men, he invoked the anger of God with his lack of trust. The Israelite community suffered a death blow as a result, leaving thousands of their warriors dead at the hand of God.
David cried out to the Lord in repentance and begged for His mercy. He went to Mount Moriah, (where the Temple would one day stand) and he built an alter to worship God and to realign his heart with the Lord’s. He had been bitterly reminded that every battle belongs to the Lord. Each outcome is held completely in His hands.
There is not a biblical story that better illustrates this truth than in the account of Gideon and his weak, fighting men. Gideon was a fearful man and, like me, he constantly asked for heavenly reassurance that the impossible would be possible under the Lord’s mighty hand. Who could blame Gideon for his fear? Over 100,000 enemy troops stood on the mountains opposite him, ready for battle. At such a sight, even 32,000 soldiers seemed far too few to secure a victory for Israel.
But God called Gideon to do the unthinkable… send home any man who was afraid. 22,000 accepted the offer and abandoned the fighting team in fear. Still God proclaimed there were too many. Gideon was to take the remaining few to the brook. Those who put their faces to the water to drink were excluded. Only those who drew the water with their hands and lapped it like a dog were chosen to be the men God would use to conquer the Mideonite army. That left Gideon with only 300 fighting men! Far too few to face the over 100,000 warriors before them!
But the Lord never intended to use a mighty army to defeat Israel’s enemies. Instead, “God chooses the foolish things to shame the wise and the weak to shame the strong.” He would welcome any opportunity to show Himself strong against anyone who would defy His Lordship.
What Gideon didn’t realize is that the chosen men would actually not fight at all! They would only use pots and trumpets to create confusion in the enemy’s camp, leading to utter destruction at their very own hands. Only our God could win such a victory with 300 fighting men!
The Lord is still a mighty warrior… our mighty warrior! I need not gird myself for battle, thinking I can defeat my enemies either from within or without. I need only to surrender myself to the God Almighty and allow Him to fight my battles for me. Victory is sure! May I rest in this precious truth…