God’s Battle Plan

April 13, 2011 - 5:00 am

“The LORD  said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, “My own strength has saved me.”’”—Judges 7:2

When I face a difficult challenge or a new task, it helps me to have a plan in mind for how I’m going to overcome that particular situation or accomplish that assignment. I want to carefully consider what’s needed to succeed and what resources are available to me. Thus prepared, I feel ready to tackle whatever I might encounter.

I suspect that Gideon probably had a plan in mind when he was first called by God to rescue the Israelites from the massive armies of Midian and Amalek. He first sent out a call to arms on the shofar, summoning his troops. He also sent out messengers to the other tribes, asking them to send their warriors to the battle. When 32,000 men answered the call, Gideon most likely would have developed a battle plan with this number in mind.

But God had another battle plan for Gideon, and it didn’t include 32,000 men! In fact, by the time God was through winnowing out those who would not go into battle, Gideon was left with only 300 men against what the Bible described as an enemy army that looked like a swarm of locusts. Not exactly the type of odds you want going into a battle.

Facing such overwhelming odds, Gideon was understandably afraid. But God allowed Gideon to creep into the enemy’s camp and overhear a conversation that gave him the courage to go into battle. (You can read about it in Judges 7:12-15.) Confident in God’s ability to make the underdog Israelite army appear invincible, Gideon and his 300 men marched against the enemy, armed with torches, horns, and jars! In the end, Gideon’s army simply stood by and watched as God threw the Midianites and Amalekites into such panic and confusion that they began to fight each other.

Certainly, that was not the battle plan Gideon had in mind. But because of his trust and his faithful obedience to God, Gideon and the Israelites were victorious in completely routing the Midianites.

We can learn from Gideon’s experience. While it’s good to have a plan, it’s also important to include God in those plans. Take your challenges and problems to Him, and ask for His guidance and His wisdom. God will give you the strength you need for whatever situation you are encountering.

God is ready to help when asked. Like Gideon, be courageous and willing to listen to God and take that first step of trust. Together, you will overcome.


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