Judges: the underdogs…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Judges 6:1-8:35

Focus: Judges 7:1-8

There is something about humble circumstances and beginnings which get people passionate about things in life. Take any major league sport, there always seems to rise up a crowd behind the newest team, or the team that has suffered a great deal—that is, the underdog team. In life, when those that are undervalued or underestimated achieve success that humanity cheers and celebrates. There is something about success in humility that stirs the passion of our hearts.

When Israel was once again oppressed, they cried out to God to save them. In answer, God rose up a man, Gideon, to lead an army against their oppressors, the Midianites. When Gideon gathered an army, he mustered a force of 32,000 men. God spoke to Gideon and said: it’s too big. So, Gideon allowed the men who feared the approaching battle to depart, 22,000 left leaving 10,000 men. But that was still too much, so by God’s direction, Gideon brought the remaining down to the stream for a drink. Typically, there are two ways which you drink from the stream, you scoop it up with your hands, or you just dunk your head in the water and drink! 300 men (that’s only 3%) scooped water with their hands to drink.

It was with 300 men (just under than 1% of the original army) which God would deliver Israel from her oppressors. And what did they do…? They surrounded the camp armed, not with sword and shield, but with trumpets, jars and lamps. A spirit of confusion descended upon the enemy camp when 300 trumpets were blown and torches lit up around the camp…in confusion, brother attacked brother and mayhem ensued. After the confusion, the army then took up their swords and pursued them.

This is the way God works. It is not in the strengths of people that He moves in this world, it is not in the heroes of this world which God will be known, it is not in the success of the gifted and talented which will testify most to the glory of God…it is the weakness of His people that will move the hearts of men and women, it is the humble servants through which God will be made known, it is in the utterly confounding successes of the underdogs that will cause people to wake up and pay attention, giving full glory to the Lord God Almighty.

It is in the small, humble, meek, weak, despised, neglected, rejected, undervalued, underestimated, forgotten of this world—the underdogs—through which God will be made known. For that I am grateful, because I’m one messed up person, yet even then God might use what little I have to offer for His sake and glory.

Next Reading: Judges