On the Way to Victory

Answer for Students
Unit 06 - What Makes a Hero?

TEXT: Judges 6:36-40; 7:1-8

God’s answer to Gideon’s prayer gave confidence that He would deliver them from the Midianites.

I knew the moment I touched the fleece that the victory was already ours. For the fleece was dry, even though the ground around it was drenched with early morning dew. A surge of excitement gripped me. My fingers tingled. The very air around me seemed charged!

Freedom! We were a people meant to be free. The years of fear, of cringing before our enemies, were about to end. If only our armies which had gathered here from Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali could see that fact. Enough of this servitude. We would be free to erect altars to the Lord, free to hope, free to plan, free to be Israel once again.

My confidence was totally in the Lord, so when He spoke to me again I felt I was ready for anything He had to say. “The people that are with thee are too many for me.” Too many? At last count we numbered thirty-two thousand, while the Midianites, in the valley to the north, were like grasshoppers in the summer. Even as that thought flickered through my mind, I remembered, God wouldn’t fail us.

His next command was totally unexpected, but I took it to the people anyway. I told them, “Whoever is afraid, let him return.” Then I stood by and watched while twenty-two thousand—over two thirds of them—took up their weapons and left the camp. For a few moments, as I watched them file slowly by me, the old fear gripped me. The former caution tightened briefly around the thoughts in my mind. So many were leaving! How could I possibly go out and fight the Midianites with such a small number? In my zeal, was I being foolhardy and about to lead my men into certain destruction?

Memory of the dry fleece in my hands reactivated the assurance God had given me. God had come to our aid many years ago, when we had been in bondage to Egypt. He had split the Red Sea to give us deliverance, and He would deliver us again if we obeyed Him.

It seemed God was determined to try my trust in Him even further. “The people are yet too many!” He instructed me to take them down to the brook that ran near the camp. I could tell that the men were wondering what was going to happen, but they all obeyed my command. The afternoon sun was high, and our throats were full of dust by the time we arrived at the banks of the stream. Normally, I would have joined the other men as they quenched their thirst with a drink of the cold water, but God had another set of instructions for me.

I had to make note of how each man drank when he came to the water’s edge. Three hundred lapped water from their hands. I set those men apart from the rest, as the Lord had told me. Then the Lord said to me, “By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.”

By using only three hundred, no one could ever doubt that God was working for Israel. Through this handful of men, He would demonstrate His miraculous power. History would prove that when God is with His people, signs and wonders will be the outcome.

The Midianites were on their way to defeat! Once again, the true God would prevail in the land of Israel.