Judges 7:2, 19: “And the LORD said to Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’…19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands.”
Christopher Reeve once said that a hero in an ordinary person who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Most of us remember Christopher Reeve in the role of Superman. The man of steel had superhuman strength and abilities that exceeded a mere mortal. But, what would happen if Superman were forced to face obstacles without superhuman strength? What if Superman was just that, a man?
In Judges 7 that is exactly what happens. A mere mortal man faces what is seemingly an impossible task. Even though Judges 6 records that Gideon questions the Lord’s work and even questions the Lord’s way, He nevertheless used Gideon to win one of the greatest battles recorded in the Bible. Sometimes we feel we are not qualified to be used by God when we ask questions and wonder about His work and His way. Never forget that Gideon question God but He used Gideon to win one of the greatest and most memorable battles in the Bible.
Never Doubt the Lord’s Plan, Even if it Doesn’t make Sense
Joshua 7:2 “And the LORD said to Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands…proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’ And 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained. But the LORD said to Gideon, ‘The people are still too many…’”
Let me state the obvious: this makes no sense. The Bible describes Midianite army as being as numerous as the sands of the seashore. So what is God’s plan?
Forget your 32,000 troops and be confident with just 300! God has often used a plan that does not make sense to achieve a success that only He can envision.
In Joshua 3 the Israelites were preparing to cross the Jordan River into Canaan. God wants them to follow the Ark of the Covenant into the river; when the feet of the priests enter the water the River will part. Can you imagine being one of those priests on the front side of the Ark? As they enter the water and go deeper into the River, the waters do not part; not until the feet of the priests on the back side of the Ark enter the water will it part. He might ask us to get our feet wet before our waters part. Even though his plan does not make sense we need to trust it. We might not always be able to trace what God is doing, but we can always trust that it is right.
Never Doubt the Lord’s Plan, Even if it Employs Unpopular Strategy
Judges 7:16 “Then he divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers…Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers--they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing--and they cried, ‘The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!’”
One thing that is not said, but becomes obvious: if the trumpet was in one hand and the pitcher in the other, there is no room for a SWORD! That could not be a very popular strategy: leave the sword in place and just break the clay posts.
When the clay pot was broken it allowed the light to shine for everyone to see. The Light was there all the time but it was hidden from view by pitcher.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 “Let your lights shine before men so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
The Light is there, but can anyone see it? The correct question for a believer is not whether the Light is present; the correct question is whether or not others can see the Light in your life. Many times we are tempted to lament the broken pot instead of rejoicing over the Light that becomes visible for all to see.
The most pertinent question today is, “Is there a Light for people to see if your clay pot is broken?”
Pastor Jim Mead
New Covenant Church