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Daily Reading

Gideon's Zeal

View daily reading plan: Judges 7.1-3

Gideon’s misgivings were now behind him, and with remarkable zeal, he prepared to meet the foe; he ‘rose up early in the morning’ (v.1). The secretive way in which he started his service for God was now a thing of the past (ch.6.27). Like Joseph of Arimathaea (Jn 19.38), he emerged openly as God’s man for the hour.
 Initially, Gideon’s army consisted of 32,000 men of which 22,000 were self-confessed cowards. A force of 32,000 was minimal in comparison to the massed armies of the invaders, but even at that God said, ‘The people that are with thee are too many for me’ (v.2). Aware of the pride of the human heart, God knew that if the battle had been won by 32,000 men, they would have ‘vaunt(ed) themselves’ and would have taken personal credit for the victory. Pride and a haughty disposition lead to ‘a fall’ (Prov 16.18). Peter would have acknowledged that; his conceited attitude led to his downfall (Mt 26.33-34).  To obviate pride then, God whittled Gideon’s army away down to 300 men.
First to be dismissed were the 22,000 who were apprehensive. Apart from reducing the army there was another reason for their discharge: ‘lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart’ (Deut 20.8). Fear and pessimism are infectious. Never be guilty of spreading gloom among the people of God to rob them of their trust in the living God.

Tuesday, 25 June, 2024

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