Back to Gideon, fleas, fleece and fellowship...
Recap: The people of Israel are downtrodden. The Midianites have come against the. God has asked Gideon to raise an army to defend the Nation. The Nation has been worshipping the false idols of Baal and Asherath. Gideon destroys these and has been found out. The mob approaches Gideon's father, Joash, seeking revenge.
And Joash, Gideon's father, wisely said: "If Baal is a god, he can take care of himself, and punish the man who has destroyed his image. Why should you help Baal? Let Baal help himself."
And when they saw that Baal could not harm the man who had broken down his altar and his image, the people turned from Baal, back to their own Lord God.
Gideon sent messengers throughout the tribes for the men to gather, and bring swords and spears. But they had few weapons. Most of the Israelites were not prepared for war. They met beside a great spring on Mount Gilboa, called "the fountain of Harod." This was near the base camp of a vast Midianite army. So, as soon as the Midianites heard that Gideon had planned to set his people free, they came against him with a mighty host.
Gideon was a man of faith. He really wanted to be sure that God was leading him, and he prayed to God and said: "O Lord God, give me some sign that thou wilt save Israel through me. Here is a fleece of wool on this threshing floor. If tomorrow morning the fleece is wet with dew, while the grass around it is dry, then I shall know that thou art with me; and that thou wilt give me victory over the Midianites."
Very early the next morning, Gideon came to look at the fleece. He found it wringing wet with dew, while all around the grass was dry. But he was still not satisfied.
He said to the Lord:"O Lord, be not angry with me; but give me just one more sign. Tomorrow morning let the fleece be dry, and let the dew fall all around it, and then I will doubt no more."
The next morning, Gideon found the grass, and the bushes wet with dew, while the fleece of wool was dry. And Gideon was now confident that God had called him, and that God would give him victory over the enemies of Israel.
The Lord said to Gideon: "Your army is too large. If Israel should win the victory, they would say, 'we won it by our own might.' Send home all those who are afraid to fight." God is trying to demonstrate to Israel that it is not in its own strength, but by the strength and grace of God, that they would prevail.
They were grossly outnumbered, so many of the people were frightened, as they looked at the great host of their enemies. The Lord knew that these men would only hinder the rest in the battle. And we all know people like this. We each have a few “friends” who will cut and run as soon as things get a little too tight, too big or too uncomfortable.
But we must not lose heart every single time we feel outnumbered, outsmarted, outgunned...
We have not been given the spirit of timidity and fear.
Think of a situation in your life when you felt woefully inadequate, and things worked out to your benefit...anyway!
How was this situation salvaged?