In Judges chapter 7 the Midianites, Amalekites and the eastern people were enemies of God’s chosen people, Israel. While encamped in a valley the bible describes them as a multitude thick as grasshoppers and their camels were like the sand on the seashore–too numerous to number. In spite of their vast number, it appears that an army of 32,000 Israelites could defeat any opposition. However, Gideon their leader, followed God’s command and told every soldier who was afraid to leave Mount Gilead. Get this– 22,000 men left, leaving Gideon with 10,000 (Judges 7:3). An army of 10,000 sounds like a lot but God said, “No, I want only those that pass the water test,” (Mary’s paraphrase–Judges 7:5,6). It’s hard to believe it, but 9,700 men failed the water test leaving Gideon with 300 chosen men to defeat a multitude. Gideon’s 300 men equipped themselves with a trumpet, a pitcher and a lamp. What? No armour? No swords? No arrows? For a mass of ruthless, idol-serving warriors? No. None of that.
So Gideon’s army took their positions, blew their trumpets, broke their pitchers and shouted “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” The startled enemy screamed. They ran. Amid the confusion they turned on each other–killing one another with their swords. Gideon called for back up and eventually Gideon’s forces captured & decapitated two Midianite leaders. He continued fighting until there was peace in the land and Israel enjoyed peace throughout Gideon’s lifetime because he yielded to God’s unconventional ways.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8,9 NIV