June 17 | Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 7-9; Acts 3
The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me.”
READ JUDGES 7:1–8, 22
LISTEN ONLINEIn a 2017 World Cup qualifying match that pitted the US against Trinidad and Tobago, the Soca Warriors shocked the world when they beat the US men’s national team, a team ranked considerably higher. The upset eliminated the US team from the 2018 World Cup.
Trinidad and Tobago’s victory was so unexpected in part because the United States’ population and resources dwarfed those of the small Caribbean nation. But those seemingly insurmountable advantages weren’t enough to defeat the passionate Soca Warriors.
The story of Gideon and the Midianites features a similar upset, one between a small group of fighters and a large army. The Israelite army actually had more than thirty-thousand fighters, but the Lord whittled the army down to just three hundred warriors so the nation would learn that their success was dependent on God—not the size of their army, the amount of money in their treasury, or the skill of their leaders (Judges 7:1-8).
It can be tempting to put our trust and confidence in things we can see or measure, but that’s not the way of faith. Though it’s often difficult, when we’re willing to depend on God, to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10), we can go into situations with courage and confidence, even when we feel overwhelmed and unqualified. His presence and power can do amazing things in and through us.
By Lisa M. Samra
REFLECT & PRAY
God, when life gets challenging, help me learn to rely more and more on Your mighty power and grace.
When have you faced seemingly insurmountable odds? Whether you tasted victory or defeat, how did you experience God’s provision for you?
SCRIPTURE INSIGHTGideon showed remarkable growth in his faith. When God first asked him to deliver Israel from the Midianites, he requested multiple signs as evidence of God’s protection (Judges 6:11-39). Convinced of His protection, Gideon obeyed God and trimmed his fighting men from 32,000 to 300. Gideon’s faith was validated when the Midianites were defeated with this much smaller army. God “caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords” (7:22).