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Monday, June 6, 2011

Supernatural Victory

 

“Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried: “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”  And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled.”  Judges 7: 20-21

During the time of the above-referenced scripture, the Israelites had not been serving the Lord God as He had commanded.  Consequently, they found themselves in circumstances that threatened their destruction.  Because of their disobedience, God had given them up to their enemies for seven years.  In chapters 6 and 7 of the book of Judges, we see that the Midianites were encamped all around the Israelites and were attacking on every side. Because of their vulnerable position, the Israelites ran to dens, caves, and safe places in the mountains to hide.

In Judges, chapter 7, we see a wonderful example of how God worked supernaturally through Gideon—a man who wasn’t the bravest warrior, but who chose to obey God in His instructions on how to defeat the enemies who threatened his people.  Because twenty-two thousand of Gideon’s fighting men had already left in fear of the enemy, there were only ten thousand remaining who were willing to fight.  God then instructed Gideon to reduce the number of men who were to go into battle with him down to three hundred.  Furthermore, God only required three things to be taken into battle by each man:  a trumpet, a torch, and a clay pot (pitcher).  Imagine what the men thought when Gideon instructed them to take nothing into battle except these three things. In them, there was nothing that even remotely resembled a weapon fit for battle.  How much faith would that require knowing they were facing at least one hundred eighty thousand Midianites?

In addition to the three very strange weapons for battle, God told Gideon that he and his warriors were to shout the following phrase over and over: “The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” (Verse 20)  When the three hundred trumpets blew and the men began shouting this phrase over and over, the Midianites became so confounded and confused that they began killing one another.  Those who did not die from the sword of their own men, fled from the scene of the battle.  (Verses 21-22)  

What was God’s purpose in doing this?  God wanted the Israelites to see that it was not because of their strong numbers they had fought and defeated the enemy, but that His strength and power had made the difference between victory and defeat.  With only a handful of men and no “real” weapons available, what a sight that must have been as the battle began and ended with a mighty victory for Gideon and his small band of warriors!

Based on this story of Gideon’s supernatural victory over the enemy, what application can we use from it for our lives today?

Gideon knew who his enemy was in this particular battle.  We are not  able to see our spiritual enemy, but be aware that he is out there.  Satan has come to cause disruption and chaos in our lives.  He will come upon us when we are tired and most vulnerable to his lies. He tries to discourage and keep us down in our emotions and our thinking. He uses our past mistakes and failures in an attempt to make us feel worthless and unworthy of God’s love.  He knows that if we buy into the lies he plants in our minds, then he is able to destroy our joy, our hope, and our spiritual motivation.  The bottom line is that he will do whatever he can to render us useless so that we cannot live joyfully, serve God effectively, or walk in freedom with the Lord Jesus.

The good news is that we have God-given weapons at our disposal to fight our enemy.  God has given us everything we need to be victorious and free from any circumstance that keeps us from wholeness in our life and in our spiritual walk with the Lord.  He has given us His Son Jesus,  the Holy Spirit, His Word, and our faith and trust in Him.  He has also given us others who are available to encourage us during times of difficulty.  Most of all, He has given us His love.  No matter what our situation, we have the assurance that God will never leave nor forsake us and that we are never alone.  He will always fight our battles for us if we will allow Him to. Just as He did with Gideon, God will work in supernatural ways in our lives if we live in obedience to His Word.  There is no limit to what we can overcome when we are walking in the strength and power of God.

                        

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