“The LORD said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ ”
Judges 7:2-3a, NIV
God knows something about us. He knows that it is our propensity to extract glory that is rightfully His. We easily become like those people in that old margarine commercial who taste the product and then see themselves wearing a crown! It is our nature to view ourselves regally upon tasting success. In doing so we displace God by taking credit for what He alone accomplishes in and for us.
Gideon was called by God to lead the Israelites into battle against the Midianites. His charge was an army of 32,000. The enemy was so numerous that their camels alone could not be counted, so 32,000 seemed appropriate – however God allowed him only 300 troops with which to fight!
For the Christian, God sometimes confronts us with the impossible to reveal His redemptive power and care. God did not want Israel to be self-deceived into thinking that any victory came from within their own strength – that would be a future death sentence for them, and an insult to God. Overwhelming numbers could easily dupe Israel into thinking that they were the force behind the victory – but the next encounter might not be so kind.
And this may be why Jesus encouraged a child-like faith in us. With all the promises of the Gospel in place He asks us to let Him be the King while we dwell safely under His care. I wish I could always hold on to that! The Gospel constantly calls us to abandon self-reliance and its deceptive promise of sufficiency. In doing so, we witness the marvels of the One who is greater than any human accomplishment.
QUESTION: In what life challenges has God exposed your need to rely solely on Him?