Troop of Soldiers

Part 4: Gideon

Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014
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About Military Might Series

An anointed and loving word for men and women in the military and all other roles that defend and protect the US, Martha expresses the Father's heart for those who serve, and His desire to be known personally by each one.



Reading Judges 6, Amplified Bible

Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt and brought you forth  out of the house of bondage. And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you and gave you their land.

And I said to you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But you have not obeyed My voice.

When Israel dared to fear the Midians, the Midians became her god.

What you fear becomes your captor and steals the sustenance of your own fields. Poverty is the whiplash from fear and in this condition was Israel found.

Gideon was crouching behind a tree, beating out some secret wheat when the Angel of the Lord appeared to him.

The Lord is with you, you mighty man of (fearless) courage.

Gideon immediately asked the question he was asking of God:

Where are all His wondrous works of which our fathers told us…now the Lord has forsaken us.

Where was this “fearless might” in a man who hid from the marauding Midianites?

It was his belief that God could and should rout the enemy.  His courage lay in his willingness to ask why God was not with Israel.  Such questions come from an honest heart and a responsible life.  Gideon’s “why” was addressed to God with the inference that He was not at fault. He had been powerful to the forefathers. He could do so with Israel today.

The Lord turned to him and said, Go in this your might and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?

In the face of such a calling, Gideon asked how…

Oh, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold my clan is the poorest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father’s house.

Courage to ask. Willingness to see. But complete poverty of family and of self. This is the potential of a great warrior.

The answer?

Surely I will be with you and you shall smite the Midianites as one man.

God’s presence is God’s promise and the entire victory.

But God’s presence is only given to a weak and poor individual because only those who need God, get God.  He intervenes only by invitation of the desperate.  All Israel had been crying out and the Lord made Gideon the answer to their prayer.

But who was Gideon? He came from the poor and he was the least.  A risky choice.  God risks His plan on the weak back of the trembling.  But when he sees strength of character, a responsible soul, and a will to obey, human weakness is then no problem. No problem at all.

A man who is poor and weak can be a man who prays and obeys.

God does not trust a strong man, confident of his might and moving by his human ideas.  God is with the arrogant only in the places they are weak. He is for the helpless only in their helplessness. In our strengths, He is absent, silent and uninvolved.

But Gideon had to clean the camp of his life so that God could walk with him to battle.  First, his doubts had to be burned out of him. The power of God would be shown greater than the Midianites of his dread.  You have to believe the God who leads you into battle is mightier than the enemy He calls you to face!

The Angel of the Lord caused fire to blaze up where none was and consumed the meat and cakes of Gideon’s altar. And by this demonstration he comprehended his Divine Visitor.

Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face!

His faith was established. His God was power.

Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, the Lord is Peace.

Gideon bowed to worship. In doing so he left the fear of and therefore, the worship of…the Midianites.

Now Gideon’s family camp had to be made holy. It was contaminated by the idol of his father.  For the first risk of his life, Gideon and his servants pulled down an altar of Baal and the Asherah symbol.  And the new warrior built a second altar of sacrifice on the wood of the false god.

These are the first solutions for a military man. To deal with his own fear and adjust it to God who is the only One to fear. Then to clean out the symbols of idolatry, the presence of what opposes God and takes His place.

God will fortify us for battle by reducing our might to increase our dependence.  An army of 20,000 was reduced to a mere 300. Soldiers afraid or unfocused were sent home. Men careless and driven by flesh were refused.  God reduced the strength of Israel. Why?  To show Himself strong in their behalf, so that at the end of the battle, they would come home – again – to fear of the Only God.

Gideon won his battles by divine ingenuity from the imagination of God. Over his weakness, strength was given. In place of his smallness, greatness was a gift.

“Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. 
Zechariah 4:6b NIV

Copyright © 2003 Martha Kilpatrick, Military Might

Other Articles in Military Might Series

Part 1: Introduction Part 2: God in the Camp Part 3: Joshua
Part 4: Gideon (Currently Viewing)
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