God called Gideon from hiding in the wine press and threshing wheat there in secret to being the leader of the resistance forces of Israel. Gideon asked God for signs so that he could be sure that he was really understanding God’s call because it seemed so dramatic and so impossible.
God calls us from our secure places and sends us out to tell the Good News of God’s grace and love. We might ask ‘who me?’ or say ‘I’m not the right one, I don’t have the right credentials’. God doesn’t see as we do, and God knows that ‘with God all things are possible’.
Gideon, with his 300 men, reduced by God from the 30,000 he started with, is told to “Get up, attack the camp; for I have given it into your hand.” Because God knows Gideon’s fears, he gives him one last assurance, “go down to the camp with your servant Purah; and you shall hear what they say, and afterwards your hands shall be strengthened to attack the camp.” (Judges 7:9-11)
Gideon needed this reassurance probably since when he saw the enemy armies “the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the east lay along the valley as thick as locusts; and their camels were without number, countless as the sand on the seashore.” (Judges 7:12) Surprisingly, despite their huge numbers, the soldiers of Midian are afraid of Gideon. “When Gideon arrived, there was a man telling a dream to his comrade; and he said, ‘I had a dream, and in it a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came to the tent, and struck it so that it fell; it turned upside down, and the tent collapsed.’ And his comrade answered, ‘This is no other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, a man of Israel; into his hand God has given Midian and all the army.’” (Judges 7:13-14)
After hearing the dream of the soldier in the Midianite camp, Gideon understands that God is with him and with his 300 men.This dream gives Gideon all the courage he needs and he conceives an unorthodox battle plan that involves dividing his already small force into 3 companies. It works! Because Gideon trusted God's power, the small army defeated the big one.
“When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped; and he returned to the camp of Israel, and said, ‘Get up; for the Lord has given the army of Midian into your hand.’ After he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and put trumpets into the hands of all of them, and empty jars, with torches inside the jars, he said to them, ‘Look at me, and do the same; when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets around the whole camp, and shout, “For the Lord and for Gideon!” ’ So Gideon and the hundred who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. So the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars, holding in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow; and they cried, ‘A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!’ Every man stood in his place all around the camp, and all the men in camp ran; they cried out and fled. When they blew the three hundred trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow and against all the army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah towards Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.” (Judges 7: 15-22)
With only 300, Gideon is able to free Israel from the rule of Midian. He goes on to become the leader of Israel (Judges 8:22), “and the land had rest 40 years in the days of Gideon.” (Judges 8:28)
From what secure place is God trying to call you?
Is there a ministry that you feel drawn to, or something God might be asking you to step out in faith and do?
Can you trust God to be with you in whatever you are doing?