-Now that the LORD had given His Divine signs to Gideon performing a new miraculous work in a new generation, Jerubbaal (that is Gideon) and all his people rose and camped beside the spring of Harod. Midian was camping on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. Gideon’s men had the high ground. But, the LORD spoke to His leader, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me (Judges 7:1-2).’” Therefore, God commanded Gideon to seek out those who were afraid and trembling to let them return from their position on Mount Gilead. Approximately 22,000 returned to their homes, but 10,000 valiant warriors still remained. The LORD told his servant Gideon that they were still too numerous. They were brought down to the water of the springs to be tested by the LORD. If they lapped the water like a dog or knelt to drink, they were to be sent home. The only ones putting hands to their mouth to drink were a sparse 300 men. The rest knelt down to drink the refreshing water. The LORD then spoke to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each to his home.” This is what Gideon did in obedience to the Sovereign. The 300 took their provisions and their trumpets. That same night it came about that the LORD spoke further, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands.” The LORD knew there could be some fear to go alone, so He permitted Purah, Gideon’s servant, to go along with him down to the camp of the enemy. God told them they would hear what their enemies would say, and this would strengthen them. And, so they did. “Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore.” When Gideon approached, he heard one of the enemies relating a dream to his friend. In the dream, a loaf of barley was tumbling into the camp of Midian coming to a tent and striking it so that it fell turning the tent upside down and flattening it. The friend replied that this was indeed a sign that the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash of Israel, was given by God to defeat them. When Gideon heard the account and interpretation of the dream, he bowed and worshipped his LORD. He returned to his camp now positive of the LORD’s dominion over this affair. He told his small group of fighters to arise, for the LORD has given the camp of Midian into their hands. He divided the 300 men into three companies putting trumpets and empty pitchers into their hands with torches inside the pitchers. He told them to follow his example when they got to the outskirts of the camp. He instructed that when he blew the trumpet, they were to blow their trumpets all around the camp and proclaim, “For the LORD and for Gideon (Judges 7:3-18).”
-So Gideon took his company of 100 men and came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch (middle of the night) when the new crew had just posted their watch. They blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. Likewise, the rest of the companies blew their trumpets and smashed their pitchers in a brilliant tactical maneuver for all time. Their torches were in their left hands and their trumpets were in their right hands for blowing. They cried out as loud as they could, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” This totally spooked the enemy as they arose from their slumber. They ran, crying out as they fled from their camp. The LORD set the sword of one against the other in their confusion and chaos. The army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. They were going back east as the men of Gideon’s army now summoned back warriors from Naphtali and Asher and all Manasseh to pursue the vanquished foe, Midian. Gideon sent out messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim calling them to come down against Midian and take the waters before them as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan. This the men from Ephraim did, and they captured the two leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and they killed Zeeb at the wine press of Zeeb even as they pursued Midian in battle. They eventually brought back the heads of these two leaders from across the Jordan in the east back to their leader, God’s valiant warrior, Gideon (Judges 7:19-25).
-*Application* This is an incredible adventure that God got the glory in because of complete obedience and trust. God gave the word, a few miraculous signs, and Gideon followed to complete the assignment in the deliverance of Israel during this time. God will often whittle down numbers in our own lives to get our attention that it is Him, not us that has the power for deliverance. Think of times that God has made much out of little and multiplied His glory in doing so (Luke 9:13-17, John 6:1-13).
Verse to Memorize: Judges 7:2