Gideon’s Army: Culled by God

Read: Judges 7:1-8

The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many.” (v. 2)

At this point in my life, I know what I’m good at (and what I’m not so good at). Some tasks come more easily for me now. Some accomplishments require less practice and preparation than they used to. Some things I can do, seemingly, all by myself. Sometimes I don’t even think to ask for God’s help. Sometimes my God-given strengths can verge into unhealthy self-reliance or even ugly pride.

God intended for Gideon’s army to win the victory. But he didn’t want them to be able to say, “My own hand has saved me” (v. 2). So God decided to cut them down to size. At first, he diminished them from 22,000 to 10,000 fighting men. But that was still too many. So God culled the army again—and this time, only 300 men remained. God had reduced the size of the army by 98.5 percent! With only 1.5 percent of their original soldiers remaining, the Israelites would surely know now that “the victory belongs to the LORD” (Prov. 21:31).

It can be hard to recognize when God is cutting us down to size. But anytime I experience failure and I can’t count on my own ability, it’s a reminder to turn to God for the victory. If I’m tempted to do God’s work in my own strength, Gideon is my reminder to pray first, asking God to do what only he can do. —Sarah Sanderson

As you pray, ask God to accomplish his victories in your life, by his methods.

About the Author

Sarah Sanderson lives in Oregon with her pastor husband and four children.

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Gideon's Call