On Hebrews 11: Gideon

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon… who through faith conquered kingdoms… became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. – Heb 11:32-34.

Read: Judges 7:1-25

Interact: Is there such a thing as going into a battle with too big an army? Why did God peel back the number of men in Gideon’s army, especially so drastically?

Reflect: 22,000 men was too many. So was 10,000. God whittled Gideon’s army all the way to the paltry number of 300. The Lord tells Gideon up front why he is doing this: “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me’” (Judges 7:2). The Lord knew the inclination of the Israelites… an inclination we also share… to think that we had something to do with it. With too many men, Israel would be inclined to exalt her own strength and the size of her own army. But only 300 men, Gideon defeated the entire army of the Midianites. And with so great and so unlikely a victory, there was only one viable reason: God did this. There are many times in the life of faith that we want to explain everything, control all the variables and execute a plan. The temptation for us in this is, like the Israelites, to want to account it to our good planning or strength or wisdom rather than the provision of Almighty God. To break us of that reliance on self, God often whittles away our strengths and our securities, so the only possible reason is that God did this. And herein lies the core of the life of faith: this is about God, not about us. This is about his glory and fame, not ours. It is about his miraculous provision, not our excellent planning and forethought. It is about his strength made perfect in our weakness. It is about taking us to the depths of our brokenness and dependence so that we can see that he was there all along, working out his glorious plan of redemption in your life. Then we, along with Gideon, can declare, “God did this.”

Respond: How are you personally tempted to control all the variables and rely on human strength, rather than on God? Pray, asking God to forgive you of your self-reliance that you and all those around you might see that the God is at work in your life. After all, that is what it means to live by faith.

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One Response

  1. […] me, one of the biblical heroes who stood out the most was Gideon. Gideon is introduced in chapter 6 of the book of Judges where God spoke to Gideon about going out […]

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