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God’s Spirit covered Gideon. Gideon blew a trumpet and gathered a big army to help fight the enemies. He gathered thirty-two thousand people — enough to fill an entire city!
When God looked at that big army, God said, “Mm, Gideon, there are toooo many men in this army! If I let all these men fight, they will think they won because their army was big and strong! But, I am the only one who can really save them. So Gideon, send home all the men who are trembling in fear.”
“Send them home?!” Gideon thought. “I was thinking our army was just now getting big enough to win! If I send so many home, we will be little, little, little again.”
God had chosen Gideon when he was little in his own eyes and when he had no one to help him. But now that Gideon had an entire big army at his side… Gideon was sending most of the army away. They will be little again. This may have been a little hard for Gideon to hear at first.
But God was leading Gideon into deeper seeing and believing — FAITH! God doesn’t like to just do the “easy” and “possible” things. God likes to do the “impossible” things! And when God is doing the “impossible,” He doesn’t need man’s ideas with “size” and “strength” and “skills.”
So walk, walk, walking away home went the feet of twenty-two thousand men in Gideon’s army.
God looked at the army of men again and said, “Gideon, there are STILL too many men here! If I let all these men fight, they will forget about Me! They will think they saved themselves, even though I saved them. Gideon, take these men to the river to get a drink of water. Then I’ll show you which ones to keep.”
Gideon led his men to the water. They were so thirsty. Most men got their faces close to the water for a drink. But a small number of the men scooped up the water in their hands.
God said, “Gideon, see the few men who scooped up the water with their hands? Take only those men with you, and send everyone else home.”
So, walk, walk, walking away home went the feet of all those men.
Now Gideon only had 300 men with him. That was not very many men to fight a battle against the enemy’s big army. But God said, “Ah, good, now My army is just the right size.”
The men who were sent home gave their supplies and trumpets to the men who stayed. That night, the men found the enemies in a valley. There were SO MANY enemies. Counting the enemies would be like trying to count swarms of locusts.
But Gideon told his men, “Watch me and follow my lead. Do exactly as I do. When I blow my trumpet, then from all around the camp you blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon!’”
Do adults ever tell you to watch them or follow their lead? Maybe you are learning something new, or in a new situation, or maybe you just need to learn to be sensitive to the world around you. Whatever it is, learn how to watch and follow their lead! It is a very important thing to do, especially as a child with so much wonderful stuff to learn. As a child, you don’t want to be the one out front leading the adults… not yet… not until you really know God close, close, closely.
Then Gideon made sure every man with him had one torch with a jar over it, and one trumpet. (This sounds like some more “weird” obedience is about to happen, doesn’t it?)
Gideon’s men got ready and circled the camp. They watched Gideon closely and were ready to follow his lead!
When everything was ready, Gideon blew his trumpet and smashed his jar!
So the men, since they were watching, blew their trumpets and smashed their jars. They held up their torches in their left hand and held their trumpet in their right hand! And, wow, did they SHOUT! “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” they yelled.
(When I imagine this it makes me laugh because they didn’t even have their swords out. Just torches and trumpets and a whole lot of yellin’!)
The enemies were terrified! “Oh no! We’re being attacked by too many men!” they thought. But really it was God helping Gideon with his very few men!
The enemies started fighting each other and ran away as fast as they could go. Gideon and his men chased the enemy far away. God’s Children were free from their enemies again!
Gideon and the other men participated with God against the enemy, but God won the day. God had shown His children that He didn’t need man’s ideas about how to win, or their weapons, or their strength. But God did need a few men who would listen to HIS idea and do their part. May it be that way for us, too! Amen! (When we say “Amen,” that is us saying, “Yes! God is with us, and we agree to do the work that is our part to do!” He’ll be with us, but the work is ours! So be ready to do it!)