Daily Devotionals

February 2nd, 2023

‭‭Judges‬ ‭7‬:‭1‬-‭8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. 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.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ ” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. 

But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” 

So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. 

The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others. Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley.”

Gideon had amassed an army of thirty two thousand men.  While we know Gideon was uneasy about a victory from his tests with the fleece, he must have felt confident after God answered him.

God instructed him to release any that were afraid and more than two thirds of the men left, explaining that if the invaders were beaten by such a great army, Israel would think it was their own might that had won the day.

Then God told him to send the rest down to the water to drink… and only three hundred of thirty two thousand remained.

What must Gideon have thought as he watched all but 300 men leave the camp?  God knew exactly what he was thinking. 

Maybe Gideon was pacing in front of the fire, unable to rest, or maybe he was lying on a blanket staring at the stars, worrying about what was to come.  Scripture says:

“During that night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp. The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore. 

Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.” 

His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.” 

When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.”” ‭‭Judges‬ ‭7‬:‭9‬-‭15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God met Gideon in the night, as Gideon was anticipating a battle of three hundred against an invading army of thousands.  As Gideon obeyed God and crept down to the enemy camp, the Lord revealed His plan through the very mouths of Israel’s enemies, and gifted Gideon with the wisdom to act on what he heard.  

Gideon, who was fearfully threshing wheat in a wine press just a short time before and had asked “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6: 13), was now about to attack an enemy of thousands with three hundred men, certain that God was with him:

“Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. 

When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled to Beth Shittah toward Zererah as far as the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath.” ‭‭Judges‬ ‭7‬:‭19‬-‭22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If God could do that with Gideon – what could He do with us? 

Have you been dejected and fearful, wondering when the next disaster was about to strike?  Have you ever relied on things or people other than God looking for answers?  What if we relied on God for the little things?  What big things in our lives would that lead to?


“Lord, Scripture says ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.’ I hear your voice.  Please come in and let’s eat together.  In Jesus’ name, amen.”