Jud 7:4-Not On My Team
Question: ““How could there be “too many” for the Lord to use to deliver Israel from oppression? Isn’t more better?”
Answer: Our natural human tendency is to judge strength strictly in terms of numbers; and while there is truth in this, it isn’t the whole truth. In fact, it reveals our woeful bias when it comes to the matter of spiritual strength and victory. A righteous majority might be a wonderful thing to have, but it‘s unlikely, and it‘s unnecessary for victory. The Bible states the sides straightforwardly:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
How foolish it is to assess our chances of victory by the “flesh and blood” yardstick.
Gideon began his conflict with a little band of ten men, so, you can visualize his (unstated) enthusiasm for the 32 thousand volunteers who showed up. It would have been easier to imagine victory with 32,000 rough and ready troops than with a meager handful of 300.
God eliminated two groups: First, the fearful (that took care of 22,000); second, the careless (that subtracted another 10,000). Gideon’s once overwhelming force didn’t seem so overwhelming all of the sudden.
Now, compare those numbers with the characterization given in Judges 7:12: “And the Midainites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.” Gideon’s force of 32,000+ doesn’t sound quite so impressive now, does it?
Do you understand what I mean when I say it’s foolish to assess our chances of victory by the “flesh and blood” yardstick. It’s not about the numbers, it’s not about tech, it’s not about new methodology. Victory was possible for one reason, and only one reason: God had said, “Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it unto thine hand” (7:9). It wasn’t until God removed the distraction of the larger force that the Israelites could see Who really was winning the battle.
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