Gideon Leads a Small, Unarmed Army to Defeat Their Enemies

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Image of Gideon's small unarmed army defeating their enemies.
Image source: Sweet Publishing

Today’s Bible reading* is a familiar passage to many of us who have been around church for a while. Gideon, with his small army of three hundred unarmed men, defeated the Midianites.

Why do I say that Gideon’s army was unarmed? Look at Judges 7:20.

The three companies blew their ram’s horns and shattered their pitchers.
They held their torches in their left hands and their ram’s horns to blow in their right hands,
and they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”
Judges 7:20 (CSB)

The men held torches in one hand and ram’s horns in their other hand. Both hands were occupied. How could they hold a weapon?

It’s clear that God fought Gideon’s battle for him. Under God’s instructions, Gideon whittled down his original army of twenty-two thousand to only three hundred men. Why?

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.’
Judges 7:2 (CSB)


Confidence can be an important asset for our walk with Christ. But self-sufficiency can be one of the worst liabilities. A frequently misquoted Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13.

No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (CSB)

The misinterpretation says that God will never give you more than you can handle. Nothing could be further from the truth! If we could handle every situation in life, we would have no need for God!

I would argue that God often gives us more than we can handle so we will press into Him, seeking His face and His hand to provide wisdom and strength for us.

If you feel overwhelmed, perhaps God has brought the hardship to draw you close to Him. Perhaps He has brought the hardship so that He will get the credit for victory rather than you.

Spend some time in prayer. Don’t recite words, but pour your heart out to your Father. Listen for His voice and watch Him fight for you as He did for Gideon and his small, unarmed army.

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
– Judges 6
– Judges 7
– Judges 8
– Judges 9

This devotional was originally published on March 27, 2021.

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