“God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength ... God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Corinthians 1:25, 27). Paul wrote, “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Sometimes God doesn’t make sense. What, do you suppose, did Gideon think?
When the Midianites amassed their wicked troops in the Valley of Jezreel, Gideon blew the ram’s horn as a call to arms. Soldiers from all over the northern tribal areas gathered, ready to fight. Thirty-two-thousand men answered the call. That’s a big army. Right?
“Now the Midianites, Amalekites, and all the people of the east had settled down in the valley like a swarm of locusts, and their camels were as innumerable as the sand on the seashore” (Judges 7:12). Uh-ho.
Gideon was probably thinking about blowing the trumpet again. Maybe, he thought, warriors from the southern tribal areas will join us. Surely there are others that will help us fight. But God had a different plan.
“The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many troops for me to hand the Midianites over to them, or else Israel might elevate themselves over me and say, ‘I saved myself.’ Now announce to the troops, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ ” So twenty-two thousand of the troops turned back, but ten thousand remained” (Judges 7:2–3).
Ten-thousand fearless troops stood with Gideon but the Lord said, “ ‘There are still too many troops. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there.’ ... So he brought the troops down to the water, and the Lord said to Gideon, ‘Separate everyone who laps water with his tongue like a dog. Do the same with everyone who kneels to drink.” The number of those who lapped with their hands to their mouths was three hundred men, and all the rest of the troops knelt to drink water’ ” (Judges 7:4–6).
Gideon had a fighting chance of victory with an army of thirty-two-thousand. His chances were between-slim-and-none with ten-thousand. But three hundred! It would take a miracle for just three-hundred men to defeat the innumerable hordes of Midianite soldiers.
God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways ... For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).
God didn’t need Gideon and a multitude of mighty men to win the battle. God invited Gideon to recognize his own weakness and to trust God’s infinite power
Do you face an enemy who is bigger and stronger that you are? God is glorified when we acknowledge our own weakness and depend solely on His capacity and strength.
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.