The fleeces were over, God had done as Gideon requested proving Himself time and again, until there was nothing left for Gideon to do than to step out in faith, and see the victory God had promised come to fruition before his very eyes. Staring over the assembled crowd of some thirty two thousand men might have bolstered Gideon’s spirits, it wasn’t like he was about to make war against the Midianites, the Amalekites and all the people of the East who were numerous as locusts with a handful of men now was he? Thirty two thousand was still a respectable number, they still had a fighting chance, and Gideon might have felt as though there was a real possibility they might actually pull this off until God spoke to him and said, ‘the people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against me, saying, ‘my own hand has saved me.’
I don’t know what went through Gideon’s mind upon hearing these words, but I know what would have gone through my mind if I were in his shoes. The Israelites were already outnumbered as it was. Even with every able bodied male having come to Mount Gilead, they were still at a tactical disadvantage due to the size of the opposing force. How could God say the people were too many, when through the prism of human reason they weren’t nearly enough?
Even so, Gideon continued to be faithful and obey the voice of God, and at once he did as God commanded and told all those who were fearful and afraid to depart at once from the mountain upon which they stood. Close to 70% of the men that had assembled simply took their belongings and walked away. Of thirty two thousand men, only ten thousand remained, and once again God says to Gideon, ‘the people are still too many!’
Once more God whittles down the number, this time even more severely than the last, and of the ten thousand that remained, 97% were told to depart. Three hundred men, a handful of souls, now stood before Gideon well aware of the fact that they were about to embark upon the suicide mission of all suicide missions if God would not intervene on their behalf.
Less than one percent of the original thirty two thousand men were chosen by God to stand against an enemy whose camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude. There is a truth we often forget as children of God, that in His economy, numbers don’t mean much, because even one is a majority when God stands with them. The enemy will always outnumber us, yet in Christ and through Christ we will always obtain the victory.
Judges 7:16-20, “Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. And he said to them, ‘Look at me and do likewise; watch and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do just as I do: When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp and say, ‘the sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’ So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitches that were in their hands. 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!”
Within these four verses there is a treasure trove of spiritual lessons that we can mine, if we are willing to perceive them through the prism of spiritual eyes.
The first thing that I want to make mention of, and you will see why a bit later, is that every one of the three hundred men whom God had set apart to do battle against the Midianites were given a trumpet, a torch and a pitcher. It wasn’t just Gideon that got them, it wasn’t just the captains of the three companies of men that got them, but every one of these soldiers had received his own trumpet, torch and pitcher.
If we perceive this scripture passage in a spiritual sense, then we readily understand that the trumpets represented the Word of God, the torches represented the Spirit of God, and the pitchers represented the flesh in which our torches are often times encased, the selfsame flesh that often times hides the light of the Holy Spirit in us.
When God sets us apart, when we are called to be His ambassadors on this earth, we are given trumpets and torches, and are commanded of God to break the pitcher that the light of the Holy Spirit might emanate and shine forth. It’s not just a select few that are given these things, but everyone who comes to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and embraces His saving grace.
What is incumbent upon us however is to make sure that our torches are lit, and that when we blow our trumpets they make a sure sound and are not mistaken for clanging cymbals.
Once the torch is lit, once the power of the Holy Spirit is upon us it is our duty to break the clay pitchers, because if we keep the lit torches in the pitchers for too long, we run the risk of putting out the flame altogether. Herein lies the problem that so many believers face today, that rather than break the pitcher, rather than do away with the clay that is keeping the light of truth hidden, they coddle the flesh, and do everything in their power to make sure that the flesh is first and foremost satisfied and cared for.
Judges 7:21, “And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled.”
From the onset these three hundred men knew that if they were to survive the night, God would have to intervene on their behalf, God would have to perform a miracle, God would have to fight the battle, and God would have to get the glory for it all. There they stood, without cavalry, without spears, without archers and without swords, with a trumpet in one hand and a torch with a clay pitcher in the other. To the last, every man did as Gideon had commanded, they broke their pitcher, let the light of their torches shine forth, and they blew their trumpets. It must have been a site, watching as the Midianite hoard ran and cried out and fled, while every man stood in his place all around the camp.
If the enemy sees that you have the Word, if he sees that your torch is lit and the power of the Holy Spirit is in you, if he sees that your pitcher is broken, and the flesh no longer holds sway over you, then he has no choice but to flee. Yes, it is that simple, break the pitcher, blow the trumpet, raise your torch, and the enemy will flee.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.