God Alone Is The Deliverer
Choosing the Army - Started with 32,000
22,000 people returned home
10,000 remained (still too many)
300 was the final number
The 300 were singleminded, alert, they didn't kneel and look down.
The enemy numbered 135,000. Ratio = 450 to 1 (enemy's favor)
Now, remember when I said Gideon might have been trying to change God's mind
about fighting? I hinted that Gideon might have been a little scared and not
really to anxious to fight.
LOOK AT vs 10
It sounds almost as if Gideon is still afraid. But God is patient with him.
Gideon possibly just flat out didn't want to go.
"If God left us to ourselves, we would never turn to Him" (jbj p.134).
If He had left Gideon to himself, Gideon might not have gone.
But throughout this we see it is God who takes the initiative.
God sent a prophet to call Israel's attention to their sins.
God called Gideon to be a messiah for the people.
God took the initiative in attacking the altar of Baal.
God annointed Gideon with the Spirit.
God created Gideon's 300 man army.
Now, God encourages Gideon before the battle.
God tells Gideon to take along a witness for moral support.
LOOK AT vs 13-14
What is it about that dream that would be a morale boost for Gideon?
"This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon"
How did they know about Gideon?
They even know the name of Gideon's father, Joash.
Even better, they are terrified of Gideon.
God is at work. God is delivering the Israelites from fear and filling the Midianites with fear.
Gideon Prepares for Battle
3 companies are formed
Gideon tells the men to imitate him.
LOOK AT vs 18
Now, was Gideon being a little vain and seeking his own glory by having the army shout his name out loud?
"Gideon knew from the dream that his own name was a terror to the Midianites. Thus, it was tactically important to use it" (jbj p.136).
Now, if Jimmy Swaggart uses this for his reason for putting his name on everything he owns, he has missed the context, as he normally does.
Gideon was a type of Messiah. This is like saying "For the Lord and for His Messiah."
James Jordan talks about this battle being studied in military tactics under psychological warfare.
1) It was early night. Sound sleepers would wake up disoriented.
2) Watch had been posted. Eyes would have to be adjusted to the dark after coming from the camp. They see 300 torches and hear 300 trumpets (usually 1 trumpet per 100).
3) Men returning from watch were wandering in camp. Others would wake up from the war cries and assume these men to be attackers.
4) The trumpets, noise and fire would stampede the camels.
5) Finally, the name of Gideon would strike fear in the enemy.
LOOK AT Exodus 14:13-14
This is what is happening with Gideon. This was a type of God coming in His glory cloud in judgment.
LOOK AT vs 24-25
Gideon called on the Ephraimites to help finish off the Midianites.
Two commanders were killed, Oreb and Zeeb.
Why do you suppose the Scripture mentions the places these men were killed?
The Rock of Oreb--why is that significant?
LOOK AT Judges 6:2
The Israelites had been hiding in rocks before the deliverance.
Now the Midianites were trying to hide in the rocks.
The Wine Press of Zeeb--why is that significant?
LOOK AT Judges 6:11
Gideon had done his threshing in the wine press to hide from the Midianites.
Now the Midianites were trying to hide in the wine press.
Picture of the Gospel
LOOK AT I Thess 5:5-8
What do we see in Judges?
"A sleeping world is shattered by a trumpet of judgment, a shining light and the proclamation of a specific message about a sword, God and the Messiah" (jbj p.138).
LOOK AT Rev 8:6ff.
The trumpets announe God's judgment.
LOOK AT Jn 3:19-20
The light of truth was shone into the the camp. The light blinds them and reveals their sin.
LOOK AT Rev 19:15 and Heb 4:12
The sword is the proclamation of the Gospel according to God's Word.
Many of us are alarmed about the rise in the rate of suicides.
But we see here, in Judges, that men are basically self- destructive.
God caused them to kill each other inside their own camp.
All God's people had to do was stand their ground and preach the Word of God's judgment and salvation.
God delivers the first and victorious blow, God's people follow God and mop up after Him.
"We confess that Christ Jesus has won the definitive victory, and now we as His Church follow Him, privileged to put down all His enemies on the Earth" (jbj p.139).
READ Col 2:8-15