How Weakness Won a War


If you are experiencing a difficult time, take encouragement from the story of Gideon.

Is there something in your life right now that feels insurmountable? Do you feel abandoned and alone? Take heart, and pay extra close attention to how weakness won a war.

In Judges 7:12, we find Gideon preparing to lead the troops of Israel into a major battle . Their enemies—the Midianites, Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples—“had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.”

Bad guys as thick as insects with camels as many as the grains of sand on the seashore! This was a battle that would not be easily won, at least not if it depended on the strength of Gideon and his men. So what did Gideon do? He allowed twenty-two thousand of his men to leave, which left him with just ten thousand. It’s a military strategy that the Pentagon won’t be considering any time soon!

I’d be the first to volunteer to join the group that was leaving, being the wimp that I am. Only the very brave remained, but God said Gideon still had too many men...and just like that, Gideon’s army shrank to three hundred. And just as the battle cry was about to sound!

“The three companies blew their trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, ‘A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!’ While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled” (vv. 20-21).

Because of God’s strength and power, Gideon and his armies beat an impossible enemy. But why didn’t God let them pummel them with 33,000? The answer is the best part of this story, in my opinion:

“The Lord said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead’” (vs. 2-3).

Is it possible that the battle you face today is a reminder that God is strong, you are not, and depending on Him is the only way to win the war? What are you dealing with right now that feels like a battle that cannot be won? Write it down. How is God using your circumstances to show you and others that He is big and strong, and that He is where you should turn for strength? Leave us a comment and tell us about it.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor. 1:25).

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