Gideon’s 300.

Judges  6:11-12
“Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
(The Angel of the Lord Visits Gideon.)
This is an amazing story and a very timely one in these last days.  How awesome is it that THE Angel of the Lord came in person and visited Gideon; even called him, ”A mighty man of valor!”  You would think that he’s off to a pretty good start, until he started going through a whole laundry list of complaints.

The Meaning Of Names.
All names in the Bible have meaning.  Notice that the Bible calls this Visitor, THE ANGEL of the LORD.”  It wasn’t Gabriel and it wasn’t Michael.  It was Jesus Himself in a pre-incarnate appearance….and Gideon was whining and complaining to Him.
I’m sure you noticed the names in bold font in the opening passage.  Their meanings add a depth and understanding to the text you would never get simply by reading through the story.
For those of you who don’t know, there are 4 levels of Bible study according to the Jewish rabbis.  For more on that topic, please follow the link below:  https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/eutychus-the-story-behind-the-words/.
The names in this story tell us about Jesus and how he defeated our enemies at the cross!  The three mentioned in the opening scripture point to the Trinity.  “Joash (Ya-esh)” literally means “God Fire.”  Who is like a burning fire?  The Father!  “Abiezer (Av-ezer)” means “Father Help,” literally.  Who is that?  The Holy Spirit, the Helper!  And you already know that “The Angel of the Lord,” is Jesus!  
Let’s continue the story.
Gideon talks to the Angel
Judges 6:12-15
“Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
Encouraging Words.
That’s quite a list of woes.  Kinda sounds like us at times when nothing seems to be going right and everyone is against you.  It’s depressing and discouraging.
But our gracious Lord was non-plussed.  He patiently listened to all his laments,  then spoke to him the following encouraging words:
14 “Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”
15 So he said to Him, “O my Lord,  how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
16 And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

The ANGEL said to him, “Go in this might of YOURS.” 

Wait, what?  “Go in your might?”  You mean full-of-complaints,  scared-to-death Gideon, the man who admitted to being a weakling…..that “might?”  Yep, Gideon the weakling, scaredy cat.  

But that’s just like our God, isn’t it!  He gives us the grace to do the things He asks of us, we do those things, then He turns around and gives us the credit for using the grace He gave us to do what we did!  Don’t think for one minute it’s you, though.

Gideon goes on to say, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
16 And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

What better offer could he get?  But it still wasn’t quite enough to convince Gideon.  You can see he was still focused on himself, not God…..yet!  So, he asked the LORD if he might test and see if he was really the man for the job, hence the famous story of the fleece that he laid before the Lord…..twice!

Gideon's fleece 3

We’re not going to go into that whole story here.  Please refer to the link below for more on the meaning of Gideon’s fleece:  

https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/the-real-meaning-of-gideons-fleece/)


Israel’s Trouble.

Every time Israel got herself in trouble, it always started when she left the God of her fathers and began worshiping other gods.  It was a destructive pattern they repeated a number of times.  After each indiscretion, eventually they would cry out to God, and He invariably would send them a deliverer in the form of one of the Judges.



(For more on the topic of Israel’s indiscretions, please follow the link below.  It demonstrates how God really sees things!
https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/gods-math-is-not-like-ours/)

Just before Gideon took over as one of them, Israel had once again gotten herself into another bind.  This time she was being oppressed by the Midianites.  There was such a great horde of them they could not be numbered!   

Reading Hebrew scroll

Secrets In The Hebrew Language.

Hebrew is a language of picture writing, like Chinese.  Each letter is a picture of something.  Gideon’s name means, “One who hewed down (the enemy.)”  Apt description!  

In Hebrew, Gideon is spelled like this:
[גדעון]
The letters from right to left are, “gimel-dalet-ayin-vav-nun.”


[ג] Gimel is a picture of a camel, a form of transportation.
[ד] Dalet is a picture of a door.  The “Door” is Jesus!
[ע] Ayin is a picture of the eye.
[ו] Vav is a picture of a nail or hook, depicting Jesus’ sacrifice when He was “nailed” to the cross.
[ן] Nun is a picture of a fish which depicts believers.

The Message In His Name.

Gideon wasn’t God’s man because he was anything special in and of himself.  The “pictures” that the letters of his name tell us is this:  Gideon was a man who had “TRAVELED through the DOOR, who SAW the SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS and believed.  He became a BELIEVER!

When you trust in Jesus, He goes before you and “Hews down the enemy” for you…..and gives you the credit!  Don’t think for one minute it’s you, though.  Give Jesus all the glory!

TOO MANY MEN!
Gideon started out with 32,000 men.  But God said that there were too many. 

WHAT?!  Is He aware how many enemies they faced?  The Midianites were so numerous, they couldn’t be counted!  That’s quite a tide of evil!
His situation is not unlike what we are facing in America today.  We saw it in the election of 2016 as huge tide of evil rose up and tried to prevent President Trump from being elected.  THEY FAILED.
We continue to see our President being used by God to turn back the tide of evil that has come FROM THE PIT OF HELL.  He is facing obstacle after obstacle resisting God’s agenda.  These evil people imagine a vain thing:  BUT HE WHO SITS IN THE HEAVENS LAUGHS at all the schemes of the devil and his minions.

If the Midianites, or “Media-nites” as I like to call them, were so numerous, why did the LORD say there were too many Israelites?  Let’s follow the story.

Gideons 300

God Weeds Out The Fearful.
“And the Lord said to Gideon, “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.Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.”

God wanted Israel to know without a doubt that He was the One Who defeated their enemies for them.  It wasn’t because of any strength or intelligence they possessed.  That’s how we know our Abba loves us!  He isn’t content just to tell us:  HE ALLOWS US TO PERSONALLY EXPERIENCE OF IT!  That is what bolsters and cements our faith.  We may start out “Fear-FULL,” but we end up “Fear-LESS.”
(For more on the Hebrew words for “fear and fearless” and God’s perspective on the subject, follow the link below:
Anyone who was “fearful and afraid” was told to turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.  The root word in Hebrew for “Gilead,” is the verb, “Galal,” which means, “to roll some object on, upon or away.”  Figuratively, it carries the idea of rolling oneself onto the Lord.  The men who were afraid did not have great faith or trust in the Lord, hence their fear.
More Weeding.
But there were still far too many, God said.  So He had Gideon weed out more of the Israelites in this way:
Judges 7:1-8
“And the Lord said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.”And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.” 
300.  That’s the number at which God was aiming.  Finally He reached a number He could use to defeat this innumerable horde, bring great glory to His Name, and BLESS HIS PEOPLE!!!
As many of you know, numbers in the Bible have meaning.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t have His “secretaries” write them down in scripture on a whim.  They are there to teach us something important about Jesus.  The rabbis call this phenomenon, “Gematria:  The meaning of numbers.”
300 just happens to be the number of VICTORY!
(For more on the subject of numbers in the Bible, please follow the link below:
https://emmausroadministries.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/bible-numerics/)
Bear in mind, this is NOT numerology or some other superstitious nonsense.

God Encourages Gideon.

Joshua 7:9-12
“It happened on the same night that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, 11 and you shall hear what they say; and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outpost of the armed men who were in the camp. 12 Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.”

See what I mean?  How can a mere man go up against such a formidable, innumerable army of people?  Pretty intimidating!  But God knew that there might still be just a “little bit” of fear on Gideon’s part (Ya think!?), so He told him to take his servant and sneak down into the camp of Midian.  There, they would overhear something that would totally turn the tide and encourage them. 

Let’s continue the story:


The Importance Of The Shofar.

Judges 7:13-18
13 And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, “I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.”
14 Then his companion answered and said, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp.”

15 And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.” 16 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. 17 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 as I do: 18 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!’”

The Hebrew word for “trumpet” here is literally, Shofar.”  Do you know what a Shofar is?  A ram’s horn which you get BY KILLING A MALE LAMB.  It brings to God’s remembrance of the death of Jesus!
It is said that demons tremble and flee in terror at the sounding of the Shofar.  Well, as we shall soon see, indeed they did flee…..IN ABJECT TERROR!

 

The Darkest Time.
Judges 7:19-21

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 pitchers 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!” And every man stood in his place all around the camp;”

This whole scene occurred just as one watch was coming off duty and the next one was coming on at the darkest time of the night.  The guys who were coming off shift were really tired and the ones coming on duty were just waking up, most likely still not fully awake.  When it’s REALLY dark, even the tiniest light can be seen for miles.
Well, imagine the confusion when, all of a sudden, you see your encampment surrounded by torch lights, presumably from a great army, and you hear shouting and Shofar blasts all around you!  What do you do? 
YOU PANIC, that’s what!
And that’s exactly what they did!  They were so freaked out they either started killing each other in their confusion or fleeing in terror, leaving behind everything they owned.
VICTORY!

Judges 7:22-25
“When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.
23 And the men of Israel gathered together from Naphtali, Asher, and all Manasseh, and pursued the Midianites.
24 Then Gideon sent messengers throughout all the mountains of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against the Midianites, and seize from them the watering places as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan.” Then all the men of Ephraim gathered together and seized the watering places as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan. 25 And they captured two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they killed at the winepress of Zeeb. They pursued Midian and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan.
It was a complete rout!  Not only that, but they captured the two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb, killed them, and brought their heads to the OTHER SIDE OF THE JORDAN.”

Now it was time to recall everyone who had been weeded out prior to this rout to come and join the fight.

84831-image

More Secrets In The Hebrew Language.

The name, “Midian,” means “Strife.”  Oreb and Zeeb are also very telling.  “Oreb,” comes from the root word that means “evening: Erev.”  The other name, “Zeeb,” means “wolf.”  What do wolves go after?  SHEEP!

In the last days (the “evening”)…..you know, like NOW…..there will be ravening wolves that go around looking to devour the sheep of God’s pasture:  The Church.”  But our “300,” few by comparison to the number of “Midianites,” (or as I like to call them, “the Media-nites,”) will shout and lift up the Name that is above EVERY name:  JESUS!  He will fight for us and we will be completely victorious over the enemies that have sought to steal, kill and destroy.  God will restore to us everything the enemy has taken from us!

e29e8-image

Shine And Shout!

So Church, earthen vessels containing the Light of God, let your light shine, no matter how dim it may seem to you.  Shine through the darkness of this fallen world.  Sound the Shofar by lifting up the name of Jesus!  The enemy has to flee when he hears it! Righteousness will again rule our land as we will follow Jesus, the Greater Gideon.

The Battle belongs to the LORD, just as here, in the story of Gideon’s 300!

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