October 06, 2011

Too Many?

Judges 7:1-22

The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’”
Judges 7:2


Gideon is now prepared to take up his position as leader of Israel’s troops against Midian. One of the ways we usually identify leaders is by the number of their followers. Gideon has been able to raise an army of 32,000. As Gideon surveyed his troops, he must have been tempted to be impressed by his own ability and strength.

But to yield to that temptation would have betrayed what it means to be a hero of faith. A hero of faith trusts God, not oneself. And to make that clear, God began to whittle away at the size of Gideon’s army. Everyone needed to see that it was not Gideon’s army that would bring victory, but God’s unfailing strength.

Gideon saw his army dwindle from 32,000 to a mere 300. But God provided encouragement to these 300 by letting them overhear a dream of someone in the Midianite camp. With God’s encouragement and a unique military strategy, the enemy was confused. God brought about the victory.

This story can also help us see that God takes care not only of the “big” concerns in our life but also of the “little” things. We often think we’re in control of everyday details, but then we miss seeing how God provides and leads even in the ordinary things of life. Heroes of faith are led by God in all they do, and by no one else.

Dear God, may I trust in your provision rather than my own abilities. When I am prideful of my gifts, remind me that they come from your hand. Keep me close to you. Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!