Daily Devotional Judges 7: 1-25
When you’re up against an enemy, most people will agree there is strength in numbers. The more people on your side, the more likely you are to win. But in Judges 7, we learn that numbers are meaningless when God is involved.
“Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead.”
The Lord tasked Gideon with leading the Israelites into battle against the Midianites who had oppressed them for seven years (Judges 6:1). Their power was “oppressive” (6:2). In the valley, their warriors were as “thick as locusts”, and their camels like “the sand on the seashore” (7:12).
The odds were clearly stacked against Gideon and his army. His army consisted of 32,000 soldiers. However, God knew that even with this many people, they would boast about their strength (vv. 2–3). So, Gideon eliminated 22,000 soldiers who were too fearful to fight. With 10,000 remaining, God decided there were still too many. Like a master gardener pruning shrubs, God continued to remove men from Gideon’s army. After drinking from the river, only the ones who kept alert by lapping the water from their hands were allowed to stay (vv. 5–8). This reduced the army to a measly 300. God wanted only the alert and courageous to fight for Him.
Despite the small size of his army, Gideon received confirmation through a Midianite’s dream that the Lord was in control (vv. 13–15). That night, he gathered his men and concocted a plan that most likely baffled his seasoned warriors. Perhaps they thought it was a result of his inexperience, but they trusted him and God. Leadership can be frightening because you are taking people where they have never been before. Here we see God teach Gideon that our strength is not in numbers; our strength must come only from God.
>> Despite what you might think, leaders often experience fear. What fears (failure, rejection, inadequacy, conflict, loneliness, etc.) are most likely to prevent you from facing a difficult situation? What does today’s reading teach us about fear?
Pray with Us
Lord God, where our strength is slowly built and quickly exhausted, Your strength is infinite and unflagging. We run to You for the strength to face each next task, challenge, or difficult conversation.