Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Strategy

Submitted by Lara Cook 
So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. Judges 7:19

Yesterday we learned about the strange weapons that God had told Gideon to use with him men in the battle with the Midianites.  Gideon was called to lead an unusual army into an unusual battle using unusual strategy and weapons. 

One very distinct and unusual twist in the story of Gideon is the battle scene itself.  There are two specific points about the battle scene that really stand out: the strategy and the weapons. 

First, let me say something about the time of the attack.  The bible says that Gideon’s army approached the outskirts of the enemy’s camp at the beginning of the middle watch.  There were three night watches.  The first was possibly from 8:00 pm to midnight, the second or “middle” watch was from midnight to 4:00 am and the last watch was from 4:00 am to 8:00 am.  This makes midnight the beginning of the second watch which was when Gideon and his men went to battle.  This is the middle of the night, the darkest part of the night and the beginning of the new shift.  This was the perfect time for them to attack.  It is important to approach the battle at just the right time.  This was perhaps the very best time to catch the enemy with their guard down.  Gideon divided his 300 men into three groups of 100 men in each group.  Then he told them to circle around the camp – the very large camp housing literally thousands of enemy soldiers – and stretch out all the way around.  He wanted them to be heard and seen from every direction around the camp.  This is a great idea, but when you take 300 men and stretch them out all the way around a camp that big, in the darkest part of the night, it was almost as if they were all sent out to fight alone.  Some scholars believe they were probably so far apart that they couldn’t even see the person next to them, especially given the darkness.  Now that would be a little unnerving in my opinion!  It would feel much like fighting a battle literally all alone. 

Sometimes it feels like we are fighting our battles all by ourselves but God is there.  You may not be able to see Him because of the darkness surrounding you and you may not feel Him but He is there.  He may not make the strategy clear or you may be confused by what He seems to be saying but He wants us to trust Him fully.  Our God is not common.  He does not use common strategies or weapons.  He is uncommon, unconventional, and unusual.   He often calls us to extraordinary battles and the reasoning behind His strategies may be hard for our human minds to comprehend.  Our battles are unusual so our strategies must be a little different as well.  We fight spiritual wars against powers and forces unseen.  Therefore we need our unconventional God with His uncommon weapons and plans.  He sees what we can’t see. He knows what lies over the hill and He loves us beyond measure.  He wants us to trust Him blindly.  Go forth into your battle or stand firm on your post – whatever the commander is telling you.  Have faith and trust as Gideon and his men did. 

Scripture to Claim:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12

Devotional Archive