May 30, 2010 God gave the victory to Gideon's army. They stood and watched as their enemies killed one another in fear and confusion .
Judges 8 1 And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide (rebuke; argue) with him sharply (vehemence; force) . A desire for glory in battle.
2 And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 3 God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that. They were in on the mopping up , after the initial victory at Mount Moreh. Gideon told them theirs was the greater victory and greater glory .
Proverbs 15 1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Gideon practiced this Truth , and used it well. He defused a potentially dangerous situation. Pride would never give such an answer. Pride would get mad and speak harshly. They chided him sharply , without justification. Only humility could return a soft answer.
Gideon was God's man of the hour. He was leader of the nation. How easy it would have been for him to say , "How dare you question my decisions!" "Get out of my face." "To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, and to inferiors nobleness." Thinkexist.com Benjamin Franklin
Humility has to be the condition of the heart . To try to give a soft answer when inside we are fuming with ange r, will be ineffectual . If a soft answer is insincere , It will come across as condescending or as manipulative.
We have seen all along that Gideon was a man of humility . He had no desire for glory. He just wanted to obey God . "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." Harry S. Truman
4 And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint , yet pursuing them .
" yet pursuing them ." Gideon and his 300 have crossed Jordan in pursuit of a band of Midianites. They are exhausted and hungry . Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~ Newt Gingrich
Gideon and his 300 men did not quit , And we must never quit either. The hill may be steep and the going rough, But we must keep on keeping on.
5 And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. We too need to learn to ask for help when we need it. It's not weakness to need help. Don't expect people to read your mind.
They come first to the city of Succoth, and Gideon asked them for food for his men. 6 And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? What if Gideon lost? They should have thought, "What if he won!"
7 And Gideon said, Therefore when the Lord hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. They should have been more afraid of rejecting the man of God, Than of helping him . No matter what the situation, it is better to choose to be on the side of God.
Paul Davis spoke Wednesday night on " Expectations ". Faith produces positive expectations. We serve The Almighty God , Creator of all that is. We can always expect a miracle. We can remain strong in the Power of His Might. Gideon said, " When the Lord delivers" Not if the Lord delivers.
8 And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him . 9 And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower. "I don't have time right now, but when I come back, I will destroy your city.
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men , all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. 120,000 + 15,000 = 135,000 Only 15,000 left How many men did Gideon have with him?
11 And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. "For the host was secure" They thought they were safe in this place. They had no idea that Gideon had pursued them this far . There's 15,000 of the enemy. Gideon surprised them and attacked with his 300. Verse 4
12 And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited (to shudder with terror) all the host. 13 And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up , God again gave them victory in the face of insurmountable odds . Before the sun came up! We serve the same God. Trust Him completely!