This is a true story of going from zero to hero. Gideon viewed himself as a nobody (he states “my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house [Judges 6:15]), but an angel of God calls him to save Israel from the Midianites. I love how THE first thing the angel said to Gideon was, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.” The angel could have said, “Well, Gideon, you’re not worth much now, but you could be if you listen to me.” The Lord knew Gideon was a hero. He knew Gideon was capable of performing miracles. The Lord needed Gideon to know that Gideon could perform miracles. This is Gideon’s story of learning how important he is to the Lord, learning how much the Lord loves him, and learning he could accomplish things he never dreamed he could do.
Gideon amasses an army of 32,000 men, but the Lord reduces it to only 300. Gideon’s men must have been thinking, “Gideon had better have the world’s best battle plan and some high tech weapons!” But Gideon simply hands them a pitcher, a lamp, and a trumpet. It’s amazing the next verse doesn’t read, “And behold, 298 men returned home confused and disheartened.” These men did not go into battle with weapons. They went into battle with their testimonies that Gideon was a prophet and that God was leading them. The weapons are symbolic of the weapons we need to bring into battle against the evil influences of the world. We are the clay pitcher and God is the potter. He can mold us into the child of God that we are meant to become. We need to radiate the Lord’s light and use our voice (our trumpets) to declare our convictions to the world.
Gideon’s army defeated the Midianites by surrounding them at night, breaking the pitchers, blowing the trumpets, waving the lamps and shouting, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” The Midianites, who had been sleeping in the valley, awoke and must have thought a huge army was upon them! In their confusion, they end up fighting each other and then fleeing.
The Lord did not pick a war hero to lead His army. He didn’t need a warrior. He just needed someone who would obey him and Gideon was probably THE only person on the planet that would take pitchers, lamps, and trumpets into battle. The Lord knew that Gideon would obey him. The Lord knew that Gideon was a mighty man of valor. Gideon needed to know that Gideon was a mighty man of valor. Gideon learned that the Lord can make a lot more out of us than we can make of ourselves. If He calls us to do something, He will give us the ability to accomplish what He has asked. We don’t have to be the most talented men and women on earth to do His work. God can teach us what we need to know. ALL we need is to humbly obey and trust Him.