"Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD gave them into the hands of Midian seven years. The power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds" (Judges 6:1-2).
In the times of the judges, the sons of Israel sinned and God delivered them into the hands of their enemies. The power of Israel’s enemies prevailed against them that they were no longer living in their own homes but in holes. Their enemies were very strong and in great number. The Bible says that the enemy would come against them like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable. When the enemy came into the land, it was in devastation and desolation.
The sons of Israel cried to the Lord on account of Midian and the Lord heard their prayer. To solve the problem, God called Gideon to be their deliverer. Gideon was a man who seemed to be weak in the sight of people. He was from Manasseh, a tribe that was insignificant. Besides, Gideon’s family was the least in Manasseh, and Gideon was the youngest in his father’s house. The same God who called a lad named David to destroy the giant Goliath, calls now Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites and the Amalekites and the Sons of the East! God calls the least to defeat the great in the sight of people.
Never Fear When You Stand Before a Big Mountain
There is a big problem that God has to solve. God does not call the mighty to solve it but He chooses a weak vessel to do the big task. The Lord will deliver His people. The Lord will do it for you, but He waits until it is almost impossible to do it, until you have used up all the means to do it. God does it in what seems to be an impossible situation, using small means and the lowest of all the people!
What Gideon Did When God Called Him
1. He sacrificed (Judges 6:18-21): Even though Jesus died for us all, we must remember that laying down our lives for others is what God calls us to do. Even as He gave His life for us, we must learn to sacrifice, to lay down our lives. We must learn to die to the flesh and to sacrifice. The Lord told me, "I want you to sacrifice for me daily." This will be personal for everyone. Giving up that which you love for others, crucifying the flesh, and dying to our own opinions. What seems to be our rights at times is all a lifestyle the Lord is calling us into. Fasting food and what is most dear to you is a lifestyle of Christ's bond servant.
2. Destroyed the altar of false gods: We must destroy all the idols in our lives. Gideon began destroy the idols beginning within his own household (Judges 6:25-32). When you destroy the idols and bring down their altars, warfare will increase, so you must be prepared and take courage for God will help you to overcome.
3. Built an altar to the Lord (Judges 6:26) Daily prayers and worship - especially for those who are in the fire ministry: God calls you to daily corporate prayers like they did in the early church in the book of Acts. "Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out" (Leviticus 6:13)
God Delivers by the Few and by Small Means
God does it even when there is 0.0005% chance of doing it. When you think, “I am finished…” God comes and does it. He is the God of the impossible, trust Him at all times and do what He has called you to do. This is why we should never despair when we realize that there is no way out. When it seems impossible, when we see that there is no way, we must remember that God makes a way where there is no way. He still is the Creator and the God of the impossible.
Gideon must go to the battlefield. The armies that are against him are innumerable. “Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore” Judges 7:12.
Gideon is hopeful, after all he has 32,000 men with him who are going to fight alongside in this fierce battle, so he goes trusting more in the arm of the flesh. When Gideon reports to God, He said to him “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’ “Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’” So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.”
From 32,000 warriors, Gideon is left with only 10,000. When He reports to God again, the Lord said to him that they were still too many for Him to give the victory. God told him to bring everyone of the 10,000 to be tested. God tests everyone He loves and God tests everyone He is going to use. May we all overcome and pass the tests He puts before us.
Out of the 10,000 only 300 warriors passed the test. With such a small number, Gideon must trust the Lord with all His heart. How can 300 men fight against an army that is as vast and as numerous as the sand on the seashore?
Gideon was somewhat afraid. God knows us, that we are weak vessels. Even in our lowest state, God never abandons us but He comes and strengthens us in our most trying moments. In every battle, God will strengthen you by sending you a message, a word of encouragement; by letting you hear His voice and know He is there, in the background.
“and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp.”” Judges 7:11
“Now an angel from heaven appeared to Jesus, strengthening Him”. (Luke 22:43)
“Then the devil left Him, and angels came and ministered to Him.”( Matthew 4:11)
The night before the battle, the Lord told Gideon to go to the enemy’s camp. When he went, he heard the dream in the camp of the enemy which confirmed that he will win the battle. When he heard, he was strengthened. No matter what is against you, no matter how big and how high, God will always strengthen you.
"So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled. When they blew 300 trumpets, the LORD set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. The men of Israel were summoned from Naphtali and Asher and all Manasseh, and they pursued Midian (Judges 6:19-23).
"So Midian was subdued before the sons of Israel, and they did not lift up their heads anymore. And the land was undisturbed for forty years in the days of Gideon" (Judges 8:28).