Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘Gideon’

Unconventional weapons

Who ever heard of defeating a whole army with a stone shot from a sling?  Well, if you’ve heard Bible stories, you’ve probably heard of that one, hurled by young David at the giant Goliath, resulting in a rout of the whole Philistine army.

Here are some other unconventional weapons God used in the hands of his people in the Old Testament:

–An oxgoad in the hands of Shamgar that killed 600 Philistines who had been oppressing Israel.  (Judges 3:31)

–A tent peg driven by Jael, a woman, into the temple of an enemy general as he slept.  (Judges 4:21)

Ram’s horns, clay jars and torches in the hands of Gideon and his 300 men.  The cacophany in the middle of the night threw the huge Midianite army into panic so that many killed one another and the others fled.  (Judges 7:16ff)

–A donkey’s jawbone in the hands of Samson that killed 1000 Philistines. (Judges 15:15)

Songs of praise to God from the mouths of the choir marching in front of Jehoshaphat’s army.  When they reached the enemy, they found that God had already responded to their song by causing them to slaughter one another.             (2 Chronicles 20:21)

God doesn’t require the latest modern weapons to win the victory.  In each of these cases, it was not the strength of the weapons themselves but the faith of God’s people in His infinite power.  Yes, that power is still available today.  It’s a wonderful thing to wield the weapon of prayer and watch God do amazing things in response.

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A Real Hero

Antoinette Tuff is my heroine today.  And she gives all the glory to God, who gave her wisdom and courage to talk a gunman out of carrying out his plans to shoot up a school full of elementary kids.  One tool she used was her own story of weakness, loss and need.

Another hero is Gideon whose story I’ve been reading again (Judges chapters 6-8).  These same two things stand out in his experience:  his doubts and fears, and then his obedience and effectiveness in saving his people. 

His fear: 
–Threshing wheat in a wine vat to hide it from the marauding enemy. 
–Waiting for the cover of night to carry out God’s order to demolish idols worshipped by his townspeople.

His doubt: 
–When God appeared to him to commission him (addressing him as “mighty warrior”!), Gideon asked for a sign of confirmation, which God graciously provided by burning up his meal and then vanishing! (6:20-21)

–But that wasn’t enough.  He still needed confirmation.  So God arranged for a wet fleece on dry ground and then vice versa (6:36-40). 

Then God threw in one extra confirmation for good measure.  He sent Gideon to eavesdrop on a couple of enemy soldiers discussing a strange dream which they concluded  meant that Gideon was going to defeat their whole army!  (I wonder how they knew about him by name?!?)

God is so patient with those who really want to please and obey Him!

The tools:
–Personnel:  Just 300 people, whittled down from an original 32,000! (7:1-8)
–Weapons:  Trumpets, torches in clay jars, and their voices! (7:15-22) 

God’s strategy:

–As the noise and light show by Gideon’s men commenced (with the weapons listed above), God caused the enemy army to panic and kill one another!

What power!  What irony!  I love God’s battle strategies!  (For more, read the books of Exodus through 2 Chronicles.)

I also love the fact that God uses imperfect people who have doubts and fears and yet are committed to obey God to be used for His purposes, and to be sure He gets the glory!  I’m one of those.  So is Antoinette Tuff.

Small Things that Matter to God

 The Bible is full of small things that God loves and uses:

Children.
            Common sparrows
            Gideon’s army of 300.
            Faith like a mustard seed.
            A young shepherd who defeated a giant warrior.
            Short-lived wildflowers.  (Like the Texas bluebonnets we saw recently.)
A young prince and his sidekick who routed an enemy camp.
            A poor widow’s offering of a few pennies.
            Faithfulness in small things.
            Five loaves and two fish.
            Small beginnings.
            Me.

“Nothing can hinder the LORD.  He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!” (1 Samuel 14:6)

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