Who would ever understand or make human sense of God telling Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands” (see Judges 7)? LOL…If I were Gideon, I would be saying to God……”Shut up!”……..”What?” But Gideon was a little more composed than I would be! Gideon obeyed and proceeded to discharge anyone who was afraid. Gideon lost two-thirds of his army. Two-thirds!
There are many, many lessons in this particular story found in the book of Judges. The one lesson we could easily overlook is that the men who were afraid and departed missed out on the victory.… Gideon’s army was reduced to a very small number of men who went on to defeat a rather large and powerful army.
Don’t you know that Gideon and the army that remained must have experienced a TREMENDOUS VICTORY…AND GROWTH in their FAITH? Think for a brief moment about…the “soldiers” who were afraid… and all they MISSED.
FEAR…..is a HUGE stumbling block to seeing and experiencing God’s hand and His glory. It is okay to feel fear. It’s a part of being human….but facing fear…and trusting God….is where He wants us to live and only WHERE VICTORY IS FOUND. You cannot give into fear and experience all that God has for you! I love Psalm 3:6, “I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”
God knew Gideon would not be successful with men who were afraid. Gideon didn’t know the “soldiers’ thoughts or hearts” but God did! Simple but powerful lesson…..FEAR stumps your opportunity. Examining fear in your life and how you react when you are fearful is something everyone of us needs to look at and reflect on as we evaluate decisions we have made.
We may not be able to turn back time but we certainly can “cast off” fear or face our fear in the future and step out anyway. Maybe God is speaking to you as He spoke to Gideon. Maybe He wants you to dismiss fearful people in your life who could be keeping you from the Victory He has planned. You might even say to God, “Really?”
Remember, God is omnipotent. He knows the hearts of all people. We do not. So, a two-fold lesson here: Fear is quicksand to moving forward and certainly a detriment to victory. Second, God may be telling you to “discharge” someone in your “army” who may hinder you from fighting the “battle” that is in your path. Only God can tell you…Seek HIM…Listen to HIM.
Scripture teaches “perfect love drives out fear”. I John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” No one but a holy God is capable of “perfect love”. So it is a God-sized task to help drive away fear. Also…God’s ways are not man’s ways. We are told in Scripture “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
So the lesson….in order to be a Christ-follower and experience the “Victories” that He has for us….God has to be the “Commanding Officer!”