Have Confidence in the Word of God

Judges 7

Jerry A Collins




v     Why does God want us to have to trust Him?

v     What does God expect us to do when we are outnumbered?

v     Does courage make a difference in my faith?


It seems there are two choices we have when dealing with circumstances in our lives; 1. We can be confident in our ability to manage them. We can grab a hold of whatever influence we can have or connection we may have or opportunity we may have—we can become proud. Pride is the foundation of all evil. It says the source of power or virtue or blessing is somewhere other than Gods. 2. Or we can have confidence in the Word of God as the basis of our management of the circumstances of our lives. We can have faith in that Word and act upon it with confidence. These two choices are ever before us daily. It is clear in scripture that God has a problem with our pride. Pride gets God’s attention very quickly. In His dealings with Israel God most often confronted their prideful spirit that was determined to live life independently of God. Even with Gideon, pride was a threat. So God works to counter pride so Israel and Gideon can experience God’s power at work in their situation.


Sometimes we express the essence of this idea when we say there is nothing else I can do; I have come to the end of myself; I have nowhere else to go. That means we have exhausted all possibilities. We have tried everything we know and there we stand. I want to suggest that God is often at work bringing us to the end of ourselves. That He is deliberately altering circumstances so that we have no options left. So that we cannot take any credit when events may turn. God deliberately does this to Gideon vs 1-8.

First, Gideon has confirmation that he is to go to war against the Midianites and musters an army vs 1. With the Midianites encamped by Moreh in the valley, the produce of these regions which formed the agricultural and economic base of the northern tribes was threatened. This was the most fertile region of the north. So the circumstances are acute and even life-threatening. Second, the Lord eliminates the most obvious advantage that Gideon had—a large army. God says there are too many Israelites and has Gideon downsize his army. (1) 22,000 fearful recruits were dismissed and allowed to return to their homes (in harmony with Dt 20:8) vs 3. (2) 9700 apparently less watchful who failed a simple test vs 4-6 were also discharged. This test either identified those who were watchful and thus fit for this battle or it was strictly an arbitrary test to reduce the number.

Third, with possibilities eliminated God now says Gideon and his 300 men are enough to fight this battle. And we have the ominous reminder that the camp of Midian was still below him spread throughout the valley. In other words nothing has changed—the circumstances are still ass threatening as they were before this downsizing. The formula for ministry seems to be; God uses us to do His work. God says ‘I will do it with you.’ Christ said ‘I will build my church’ with or without you, but if you are willing, with you.

Fourth, all of this to counter pride and increase faith vs 2 lest Israel become boastful saying my own power has delivered me. We do not like having our possibilities eliminated. (Someone attempts an advantage over us by ruining our reputation and we are unable to stop it. We cannot make ends meet. We lose our job. The diagnosis alters everything in our lives. This is the only option I have left.) Like Gideon we stand against an enemy arrayed with massive numbers and force with only a token of resistance possible. That is exactly where God wants you to be. Where you lose your confidence in yourself. Where your fears are exposed. Where you knees begin to tremble and your legs nearly buckle. Where you are most vulnerable. God relentlessly moves in our circumstances and in our relationships to counter any pride in our strength, our connections, our influence, our capabilities, our personality, or our experience. God does not want you placing your confidence in yourself. Has God been eliminating possibilities in your life—possibilities that would otherwise increase your confidence in yourself rather than in God and His Word?


God is aware      Now that we have no advantage, fear and exposure can overwhelm us. God instructs Gideon on the heels of downsizing to go down against the enemy v 9. God knows Gideon is afraid so with his servant God sends him into the valley to the camp of the enemy. So God expects Gideon to continue to deal with the enemy even though he has lost his advantage.  He does not expect him to hide out until a better condition takes place. God did not wait for Gideon to ask for any more signs. Instead, He gave him what he did not ask for. He sneaks in to the camp v 11. Once again we are reminded of the ominous and dangerous situation this still was v 12, numbers like locusts. God does not remove the threatening circumstances.

God gives courage       They hear a Midianite telling a dream and another says it means they will lose to Gideon v 13-14. 1. God gave him the dream and his friend the interpretation of it. Barley is the bread of poor people speaking of the ravages of the Israelites. 2. God told Gideon to go to the camp at exactly the right moment. 3. God protected Gideon as he was sneaking into the camp. 4. God lowered the morale of the soldiers. 5. As result God gave Gideon courage v 14.

Gideon worships   After hearing this he bowed in worship v 15. 1. True worship came about from the Word of God Gideon had received. Nothing had physically happened and the odds were still 135,00 to 300. 2. But confidence in the Word produced faith in the Word, which produced worship of God. We might conclude; don’t call people without confidence in the Word of God to have faith in that Word and don’t call people without faith to worship. 3. Worship which is based in faith, which is based in the truth of the Word of God, motivates others to action for God. Gideon came back to the camp and his confidence led the victory v 14, 18.


Gideon gives instructions   He divides then in to three groups with torches, pitchers and trumpets. Notice v 20, the combination of the sovereignty of God and the free will of man—a cleaver battle plan brought about the victory fore-ordained by the predestination of God. With the breaking of the pots, the blowing of the trumpets and the exposed torches, God sent mass confusion into the camp as the Midianites turned on themselves vs 22. Messengers were sent to the other northern tribes and the rest of the army pursued the enemy.

1. We need to be convinced that God’s Word must be obeyed. Once Gideon was convinced of God’s Word he was willing to face the enemy with 300 men.

2. If you need courage to obey God’s Word then God will strengthen you with the courage you need to do that. Tracy Knight has courage to follow God into the midst of his circumstances completely dependent upon God for the outcome.

3. Quit wanting to be in charge of your life situation. God is working.