This post follows the Bible reading plan available at oaktreechurch.com/soap.
Chapter seven records Gideon’s battle against the Midianites. Once he had been reassured that God was with him, Gideon was ready to take his 32,000 men to fight. However, God turned the tables on him. God told him his army was too big (Judges 7:1-8). Gideon was sure that with a big army and God’s help, he could win. But God wanted Gideon to rely totally on him, so he had Gideon send home everyone who was scared, reducing the army by two-thirds. However, even 10,000 was too many, so God had Gideon reduce it again. Watching how they drank water from a stream, God showed that only 300 men trusted him implicitly, and they would be Gideon’s full army.
Naturally, Gideon’s assurance was depleted again, so God offered him another sign (Judges 7:9-23). Sneaking down into the Midianite camp, Gideon heard one enemy soldier admit to another that he dreamt that Gideon would defeat them. With this confirmation, Gideon surrounded the enemy camp with his 300 men and the element of surprise. A combination of loud noise and unexpected light put the enemy into a panic. Thinking they had been invaded, they began to kill each other. The Israelites (including those originally sent home from the army) chased them down and killed them all.