Monday, February 6, 2012


One of the most interesting and exciting books in the Bible is the book of Judges.  The book is about those people, called judges, whom God rose up to deliver His people from their enemies.  The most famous of the judges must be Sampson. Gideon probably takes second place.
The nation of Israel during this period of their history was not very faithful to God.  As a consequence, God let their enemies get the best of them.  One such enemy was the nation of Midian.  The Midianites periodically would pillage the land and then leave.  Their army was strong and fierce.  It numbered about 135,000 men.
Gideon was called by God to do battle with the Midianites.  He raised up an army of 32,000 men.  But before they went into battle, God said that they had too many men.  It didn't sound like too many to me, but God wanted them to know for sure that God was giving them the victory.  So, the army was trimmed down to 300.  
This fighting force of 300 men, surrounded the camp of the Midianites in the dark of night.  When Gideon blew his trumpet, the 300  men blew their trumpets too.  Then they dashed their gourds on the ground and held up their torches.  With all their might they yelled out, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon."
The Midianites, awakened from their sound sleep, were caught off guard.  They came rushing out of their tents, their hearts beating fast and trembling in fear.  They bumped into each other, drew their swords and fought against each other in the darkness.  In utter confusion they killed 120,000.  The other 15,000 who escaped were later captured by Gideon and his men.  Gideon and his 300  men became instant heroes.  
The real victory, however, belonged to God.  God is the one who is always there to help us against our enemies.  It doesn't matter whether it is a temptation from Satan or one from within.  Pressures can come from fellow students, teachers, co-workers, family and friends.  We are tempted to lie, cheat and steal, to have sex outside of marriage, to take drugs, to curse, to set our hearts on material things, etc., etc. etc.  
We may set out to live a "good" life.  We may be determined to be honest, a person of integrity.  We may be hard working, a good citizen, and a good parent.  We may be faithful to our spouse.  We may succeed in fighting the vices of drunkenness and gambling.  We may be able to live in a way that is envied by others and emulated by few.  But the bottom line is that no matter who we are or how hard we try we cannot succeed in overcoming the enemy of sin.
Everyone sins.  This is not only clear from the Bible but from our own experience.  And there is only one who can give us victory over sin.  That one is the Lord.  He can not only help us in fighting our own sinful desires, in thwarting the attacks of the devil,  and resisting the appeal of the sinful world, he can assure us of the ultimate victory and the crown of eternal life.
Gideon was no fool when he went into battle with 300 men.  He knew the Lord was with him.  It would be foolish to live any other way.  Don't forget it!