Greeting in the Name of our Lord Jesus, whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts and whose ways are higher than our ways!
The Lord said to Gideon, “ The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘ My own hand has saved me’ ” (Judges 7:2 ESV)
If anyone of us were to be Gideon, we would have probably responded this way, “Did I hear you right, God? The enemy forces boast of a whopping 135,000 fighting men. I have only 32,000 under my charge, and You say it’s too many?”
To understand God’s ways, we better start to learn Heaven’s Maths! You have to throw away human logic and perceptions. It is no longer the “fittest & biggest will survive” kind of maxim. We need to be accustomed to believing that 5000 people can be adequately fed by just 5 loaves and 2 fish; that a single dry donkey jaw bone is capable of striking dead thousands of enemy fighters; and that an almost 10 feet tall giant enemy commander can be downed by a young boy half his height by a simple sling and a small stone! As we approach the end times characterised by signs & wonders, we have to upgrade our faith level that sees God doing BIG things thru small means and men (and women too, of course)! Amen!
God instructed Gideon to do a first cut filtering process on Israel’s 32,000 fighters, to sieve out those who were fearful and unprepared for battle. 22,000 of them left the war zone. The sight of the huge battalion of Midianite soldiers down at the valley at the foot of mount Moreh sent chills down their spines. They failed the Maths Test of Heaven! This would be a foretaste of the falling away of believers in the end times prophesied by Jesus in Matt 24:10. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to tutor us on the Maths of Heaven and count ourselves out off the equivalent of the 22,000 timid men that left!
10,000 remained. While Gideon might have thought this was a “good-to-go” number, the Lord said “the people are still too many and instructed him to do a second filtering exercise. He did not ask him to conduct a competition to test the men’s fighting skills, knowledge of battle strategies, stamina and fitness, but simply on the way they drink water! What a strange way to select the army of God! How wrong we can be to qualify people for leadership positions by merely looking at their attributes of the natural – educational profiles, professional knowledge (even biblical knowledge), abilities and skills, presentation & oratorical attractiveness and charisma? Instead, God bases His criteria on how one conducts his ordinary, mundane daily affairs of life – symbolised by way of drinking water! That is where people are really themselves, minus all the mask-wearing, all the external obligations, all the manpleasing pretences. In fact, the Covid-19 lockdown has put us to the test of living out our faith in the daily affairs of life at home. If our Christianity is not real in the home, it will not be real outside the home! Don’t speak about church unity if we are the source of contention in the home! Don’t talk about evangelising the lost if we can’t even forgive the family member sleeping in the next room, or a neighbour in the next door!
The final chosen number was Gideon & 300 men whom God can count on to fight His battle as the “remnant” of Gideon’s era. Can God count on us as His Remnant Warriors to fight His battles of the End Times?
Eld Francis Leong
King's Scroll Editor in Chief