Devotion – Judges 7

When God works in your life, who gets the credit?  If you are like most of people, you have a tendency to pat yourself on the back when things are going good, and at the same time attempt to let everyone know how good you are.  The problem is that we take the credit God deserves for His work in our lives.

Israel had this problem.  When they would win a victory, they would say, “look how awesome we are.”  Or they might have given credit to their leader and armies.  But God wanted the credit and glory for their victories, because He had provided them.  At this point in time in Israel’s history, they needed to learn that the difference between victory and failure had more to do with their faith in God than in their own might and intelligence.  So God chose the least likely leader in Gideon, and gave him the least likely plan to defeat the Midianites.

Gideon summoned the armies to join him, and 32,000 men showed up.  God told Gideon, that’s too many.  Gideon probably said, “Well, I guess we could win with a little less men,” so he told them that anyone who was afraid could go home.  22,000 men left the camp.  Gideon took a big gulp, but thought to himself, “Well God, we are a smaller army, but we can still win this war.”  But God said to Gideon, “There are still too many.”

“What God?  Too many soldiers.  I don’t get it,” Gideon must have said.

But God told him to take the men to water and watch them drink.  Some men were cautious, and kneeled down to drink, using their hands to drink.  Others threw caution to the wind, fell on their faces in the water, and drank like a dog.  God told Gideon to keep the ones who put their faces in the water.  The sum total of these men, 300.  From a army of 32,000, 300 men were left.

This army had to be freaking out!  They were going into battle against the armies of the Midianites with 300 men.  Oh well, God must have some really cool weapons for them, right?  Wrong!  Gideon gave each man a clay pitcher with a torch inside and a trumpet.  He commanded the army to walk to the edge of the Midianites camp, and wait for his signal.  At the same time, all 300 men broke their pot, blew their trumpet, held the torch in their hand, and shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”

What happened next is incredible.  The other soldiers got confused and began to fight each other.  They couldn’t figure out that they were battling against their own soldiers, they just threw their sword towards the person closest.  Then they began to run away!  The armies of Israel chased the armies and their leaders, captured them, and defeated the Midianites on that day, with 300 men!

When the people thought about the victory, nobody said they had won because they had a strong army, or smart leaders.  Everyone knew God deserved the credit.  When God uses you or does something cool in your life, He deserves the credit and glory.  Make sure you praise Him for the awesome stuff in your life.

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