Encouragement from Small Numbers and Long Odds (Judges 7:2)

Judges 7:2


The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’


            Have you ever thought that God simply must do something in the way that you expect?  One might think that, after a little time spent in God’s word, we would remember that we do not often get these guesses right.  Looking at this passages in Judges is certainly one way to remember that God works in ways that we would not predict.


            The statistics do not work well in Gideon’s favor from the beginning.  There are 135,000 men set up against his 32,000.  But then God tells Gideon that this group is too large (the good guys not the bad guys) for God to deliver Israel.  So, God then whittles the Israelite force down to 10,000, a ratio of 13.5 to 1.  Then, in the strangest move ever, God shrinks the Israelite force down to only 300 men.  What in the world!  Three hundred men against 135,000?  That’s a ratio of 450 to 1—not winning odds.


            But, God is amazing.  He does things in ways we do not expect.  God was not interested in simply giving Israel a military victory—that would have been too easy.  No, God is interested in his top priority, his own glory.  God will not allow his glory to be taken by a strong Israelite force.  So, God uses only 1 out of every 107 volunteers to take on the enemy.  And, God wins.  God does the impossible.  And in doing so, God gets all the glory.


            Is your church too small?  Is your family too messed up?  Is your past too much to overcome?  Not for God.  He can rout an army with a tiny band of men.  He can KO giants with small young men.  He can make the sun stand still, part the sea, put a stop to rivers, and shake the mountains.  God can do anything.  Don’t be surprised if God might choose to use even you, in all your weakness; because using you might just be the thing that will give God the most glory.

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