The account of Gideon is one of my favorites in the Bible. Can’t you just picture God telling this cowardly fellow who was hiding away that he has too large an army to defeat the foe he must face and that he must send most of them home? Can you imagine the fear in Gideon’s heart when God whittled his army down to 300 against a combined force of Midianites, Amalekites, and Qedemites that were “like a swarm of locusts” with “camels as innumerable as the sand on the seashore?”
I love that God is so understanding of Gideon’s fears. He tells Gideon, “Get up and attack the camp, for I have handed it over to you. But if you are afraid to attack the camp, go down with Purah your servant. Listen to what they say, and then you will be encouraged to attack the camp.”
God calls us to do audacious things. He empowers us to face impossible challenges and gives us victory. But He also understands when our fears overshadow our faith and He sends encouragement to help us stand against overwhelming odds. In fact, God prefers for us to be up against overwhelming odds. In Gideon’s life, and sometimes in ours, He increases the odds against us before He hands us the victory.
Because we, and all who see our victory, need to understand that God ALONE is responsible for the results. No one reading this story would ever imagine that a band of 300, armed with torches, pottery, and trumpets, defeated a massive encampment of armed soldiers through their own strength. God’s power and presence is unmistakable and undeniable.
What obstacle are you facing that seems like a swarm of locusts? What problems seem as innumerable as the sand on the beach? Ask God to give you the same encouragement He gave Gideon. Listen for that whisper that God has already handed the victory over to you. Obey the Lord’s commands, even if you don’t fully understand how they are going to help the situation. Trust that God is as faithful today as He was to Gideon.