Today I read about the 300…Gideon’s 300. Judges chapter 7 talks about how Gideon, a judge of Israel, defeats the Midianite armies. However, prior to that, is the explanation of why only 300 soldiers went to fight. Originally Gideon had assembled an army of 22,000. You never really know how much is enough when it comes to battle; so the adage “the more the better” would seem to make sense. Especially when we find out in chapter 8 that the army of Gideon would be facing over 120,000 Midianites!
However, God tells Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you.” So 12,000 of them go home. Gideon has to be thinking, “Okay, 10,000 should be good.” But then God comes back again and says, “There are still too many!” How does God choose which warriors to send to battle and which ones will go home? Answer: How they drink their water from a stream.
After this, 300 remain. That is roughly .3% of the Midianite army! The real question is, “What do you think it was like to be a part of the 300?”
Here are these 300 men; they have seen the exit of 21,700 of their fellow soldiers and now only they remain. Would you stay?!
I think there are many takeaways from this story for us even today.
Trust is the first one. It seems pretty easy to see that the Israelites trusted in God’s plan, but perhaps even more the Israelites trusted that Gideon was hearing from God. Remember, the army was not being told the entire plan, but rather Gideon. How much faith and trust would you have in a leader that removes 19,000 of its army to face over 120,000? I would love to know what Gideon told the remaining 300.
Gideon truly put into practice the leadership principle when talking about vision, dreams, direction, and mission: Always make sure that your visions and dreams have elements that will not occur unless God shows up.
How amazing would it have been to be apart of the remaining 300? There must have been a sense of anticipation that God was going to show up. An anticipation that they were going to be a part of something supernatural and historical all at the same time. Why else would one stay?
Fear must have been around the remaining 300. For these 300, the fear of missing out on something God was going to do was far greater than the fear of being horrifically outnumbered. These remaining 300 placed themselves in a position that ensured one of two things: complete and utter destruction, or complete and utter victory by the hand of God. There was not going to be any in between.
How can we become one of the 300?
- Don’t let the numbers against you control your decision-making
- Choose courage over fear; be afraid of missing an opportunity
- Keep your eyes looking up even when getting replenished
- Be in tune with God’s Spirit of direction
- Expect God to show up