Man of Valor
Judges 7:7,16,20-22, “The Lord told Gideon, 'With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.' … He divided the 300 men into three groups and gave each man a ram’s horn and a clay jar with a torch in it. … Then all three groups blew their horns and broke their jars. They held the blazing torches in their left hands and the horns in their right hands, and they all shouted, ‘A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!’ Each man stood at his position around the camp and watched as all the Midianites rushed around in a panic, shouting as they ran to escape. When the 300 Israelites blew their rams’ horns, the Lord caused the warriors in the camp to fight against each other with their swords.”
Israel was in a tight spot! They were in the midst of a terrible famine, and the food they did have was subject to Midianite raiders. They literally had to raise livestock and prepare food in hiding.
Gideon was laying low in a winepress threshing wheat when the angel of the Lord appeared and called him a “Great man of valor.” What?! He wasn’t a decorated soldier or man who secured amazing victories for Israel. He was ordinary, just like us. Yet God wanted to use him in a mighty way — to defeat the nation’s biggest threat, the Midianite army of approximately 135,000 soldiers.
At first, Gideon couldn't wrap his head around what he was being asked to do. He gave excuses and, in doubt, asked God for two signs to prove that he was really the man for the job. God obliged. So, Gideon gathered 32,000 men to aid him in this ever so daunting task. But God said, “You still have too many men. Tell those who fear battle to go home.” Gulp! Gideon obeyed and was left with 10,000 soldiers. God said, “You still have too many men. The world needs to see that this victory belongs to Me.” Then God orchestrated a plan to winnow out the ones He’d choose to go forth in battle. The result — only 300 men remained! But, as promised, this victory did belong to the Lord! Armed with only torches in glass jars and ram’s horns, they overcame the massive Midianite army because God was in the fight.
That’s what’s so crucial for us to remember. No matter what we’re facing, God fights for us when we are willing to abide in Him and trust that He is in control. We, too, are mighty people of valor when we believe that there’s nothing He can’t overcome as we willingly do what He’s called us to do!
Heavenly Father, I completely trust in Your ability to overcome the odds. Guide me to be a person of valor who wholeheartedly believes in Your victory no matter what I face. Amen.