1 Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. 2 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.’ 3 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. 4 But the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. 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.” 6 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. 7 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.” 8 So the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands. And he sent away all the rest of Israel, every man to his tent, and retained those three hundred men. Now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
Judges 7:1-8 NKJV
No matter how humble we strive or perceive ourselves to be, God alone knows the true extent of our self-centeredness. He knows that an inherent, sinful desire to exalt and glorify ourselves above Him exists deep within us. And because He is the omniscient God, He knows exactly how to humble each one of us according to our unique personalities, individual circumstances, and various degrees of selfishness. God knows that even His own children struggle at times with deflecting the praise and glory they receive from others off themselves and upward to Him. It’s not that we as His children don’t know to whom the praise and glory truly belongs, rather the acclaim we receive is often hard to deflect because it pleases our human flesh!
In Judges 6, God calls a young man named Gideon, whom He addresses as a valiant warrior or mighty man of valor, to lead the armies of Israel into war against a formidable nation called Midian. After initially meeting God’s call with resistance and asking for signs of confirmation of the Lord’s very presence among him, Gideon finally accepts the Lord’s charge to lead the Israelites into battle. Before they go into battle, however, the Lord informs Gideon that there are too many men in his army, specifically too many for Him to give Midian into the Israelites’ hands. Gideon’s army totaled 32,000 men; logically, having an army of that size would be perfect and almost necessary to go up against a formidable army such as the Midianites and the accompanying Amalekites! However, God was not concerned with war logic or strategy!
God’s main concern was Israel’s ego! He informs Gideon that Israel would become boastful upon conquering Midian as a 32,000-men army! They would ascribe the victory to their own power and claim the praise and glory of the victory for themselves if He allowed them to defeat Midian at their current size. Therefore, after two distinct elimination processes, God reduces the Israelite army from 32,000 men to only 300 men. Surely, a 300-men army in contrast to a 32,000-men army represents a huge difference, yet this is exactly what the Lord wanted in order to prevent Israel from boasting in themselves. If anyone was going to get the glory from the Israelites’ defeat of the Midianites, it was going to be God and God alone!
You may believe that praising and glorifying God is always going to be your response when He does something amazingly powerful or demonstrative in your life. However, beware of the underlying temptation to assume the credit for something that the Lord has truly done! God divinely orchestrates circumstances in such a manner that leaves you with no question about who truly opened those doors of opportunity, brought you through those overwhelming seasons of difficulty, and ultimately caused you to triumph! This is not to say that you do not or cannot play a role in God’s plan! Like Gideon and his army, your submission and obedience to God’s instruction is key! However, our obedience is just that: obeying what the Lord has instructed us to do! Ultimately, He orchestrates the plan and invisibly set things into motion to accomplish His will. Therefore, He deserves the credit! He works on our behalf to accomplish feats that we would have never been able to win in our own strength! What a mighty God we serve!
#weeklydevotional #mondaymotivation #livetransformed #Godwillalwaysgettheglory #humility #glory #praise #judges7 #gideon #victory
Source: Transformation Christian Fellowship