The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.
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Already — before the Lord did any sifting at all — Gideon’s army was vastly outnumbered by the MIdianites: 135,000 to 32,000. That means in order to be victorious, every one of Gideon’s men would have to deal with 4.2 Midianites. I imagine he was counting on every single one to do their part.
But then God began sifting the army. First He reduced the 32,000 down to 10,000. Then, in perhaps the most unusual job interview of all time, God left Gideon with only the 300 men who lapped the water. But this was the same God who had also just proven His word to Gideon with the fleece — two nights in a row. So no matter how disconcerting that reduction must have been, Gideon still had the God of all in his corner.
When we have big strength and big resources, it’s easy to think we’re doing the big work. Instead of being dependent on God, we rely on ourselves. So the collapse of our strength and our resources can actually be a gift if it transfers our confidence from ourselves to the Lord.
Do you feel small, weak, and entirely unable to fight the battles facing you right now? That’s when God shines. If we put every ounce of hope in His strength, His resources, His sovereignty, His love, then it’s just a matter of time before all our Midianites crumble before Him.
Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7