Tired? Don’t Quit

Judges 7 and 8

The captivating story of Gideon in his battle with the Midianites has stirred the imagination of many. He had a formidable army when God revealed the protocol He wanted him to use revealing the character of so few men. The process involved his force of 32,000 being greatly reduced. In fact, he went into battle against the Midianite army with four times the number in their army as in his army with a remnant of only 300 troops. The Midianite were said to “covered the valley like a swarm of locusts.” Their camels, formidable beasts in battle, “were so numerous they could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.”

The story begins when God first encountered Gideon who was cowering in a winepress. God referred to him as a “mighty man of valor,” prophetically forecasting the role he was being called on to fulfill.

There is another aspect of the story equally as amazing. It is recorded in the Bible book of Judges 8:4 that they went into battle “exhausted but still in pursuit” of their foe. Being exhausted is one thing, being still in“pursuit” of their enemy is exciting. Valor is virtuous, but exhaustion is debilitating.

As an aside, it should be noted that God’s instruction to do this was not a wanton act of aggression. Their opponent was a godless society ripe for divine judgment. Gideon’s force was the means of imposing discipline.

They did what God said to do believing He would do what He said He would.

God said, “I will be with you.” He did, and gave them victory. He did it so it was obvious that to the Lord goes the glory. This made Him all the more endeared to them, knowing that was to their benefit.

To achieve the victory the Jordan River had to be crossed. Even a bigger challenge was crossing the intimidating river of doubt. When you are fatigued and prone to give up and quit pursuing God’s will, remember Gideon, one of God’s most faithful servants, who carried out God’s will even though weary.

Even wilder still the battle plan devised by God must have seemed foolish. Gideon was to divide his troops into three groups giving an even greater appearance of weakness. Their designated weapons must have seemed to reach the point of absurdity. Each man was given a trumpet and a jar with a torch in each jar. Gideon then set the example by telling them to do as he did. It was exactly what God wanted. God must have looked down on the battlefield and thought, “Gotcha Gideon, right where I want you.”

These three small companies of men surrounded the camp and in the dark simultaneously blew their trumpets, smashed their jars and watched as the Midianites, in confusion and overwhelmed by terror, started killing each other in the dark. The lights in the darkness gave the appearance of a great force. The Israelites pursued their enemy, destroying them. Five words emboldened Gideon, they were, “I will be with you.” If you are engaged in spiritual tasks as instructed by God, take heart, the battle is the Lord’s.

Their obedience resulted in them living at peace for 40 years. (Judges 8:28) The reward was worth the risk. What risk?

When God encountered Gideon at that winepress He could see in Him what He was offering him an opportunity to become, what no one else could see, not even Gideon. What potential does God see in you He is trying to develop?

There is an ageless adage: “When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die, the world cries, and you rejoice.” You have but one life. The question is, “How will you live it?”