March 2, 2009

Lessons From The First "300"-Fearless, Focused, & Faithful

OK, I could camp out here forever because there is so much good stuff, but as Judges 7 begins we find Gideon & his army camped out awaiting the battle against the armies of Midian. As they are there, Gideon gets a word from God. "Your army is too big!" By the way, Gideon's army is outnumbered by over 100,000 soldiers. On top of that, Gideon's soldiers weren't really soldiers. They were not only outnumbered but outclassed by their enemy, yet God's word is still that the army is too big. So Gideon tells anyone who is afraid that they can go home. No consequences, no questions asked, if you're afraid, then go home. Just like that, Gideon loses 22,000 men. All he has now is 10,000 volunteer fighters to take on over 130,000 enemy troops.

Then God says, "Your army is still too big!" At this point, I think I would have thought God had lost his mind. The odds were plenty long enough to insure that victory would be considered a miracle, but no, God has to mess around some more. So Gideon take his army to the river to get some water. Any man that lays down & drinks from the river like a dog is going to be sent home. When they get to the river, all but 300 men lay down & drink like a pack of dogs from the river. So 9,700 men are sent home.

Finally the time for the battle has come. Gideon has 300; the armies of Midian number well over 100,000. Do the math. There is no way to fight this battle. So what kind of plan do you implement to not only fight the battle, but to actually attack such an ominous opponent? Well, Gideon put trumpets & clay pots in the hands of his soldiers. In one hand they held a clay pot with a torch inside it. In the other hand they held a trumpet. They surrounded the enemy camp. Then each man, blew his trumpet & screamed, "A sword for the Lord & for Gideon." Don't miss this: in one hand they held a trumpet & in the other a pot. Where was their sword? Where was their weapon?

This is a powerful lesson in the necessity for fearlessness, focus, & faith. Most people were eliminated from the mission because of their fear. Another group was disqualified because they lacked focus. They were too worried about their own thirst to remember that they were on the edge of a battle. The final 300 proved their worth by demonstrating their faith. They walked into an impossible fight without a sword in their hands. Their faith was in their God to win the battle for them. God uses the fearlessly focused faithful few to accomplish the mission.

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