Full bible text
Judges 7 verses 1 to 8
1’Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. 2 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.’ 3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained. 4 And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” 6 And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. 7 And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” 8 So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.’
About this painting
First, Gideon is instructed to tear down the altar his father had dedicated to the idol Baal and to build an altar to the Lord. Then the battle against the Midianites is prepared. The army of 32,000 that Gideon mustered is too numerous in the sight of the LORD. It must not be that Israel could say, "My own hand has redeemed me!" (Judges 7:2)
Gideon must send away those who fear battle.Twenty-two thousand men depart; ten thousand remain in the camp on Mount Gilboa. Still too much in God's eyes. Gideon is to bring the people down to the waters of the spring of Harod, and the men who drink from it by bringing the water to their mouths are chosen. An army of three hundred men remains. Such a small army seems hopeless against the numerous Midianites, but God is with them!
The realization that it is God who saves is also evident in the life of Jonathan:
‘Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.’ 1 Samuel 14 verse 6.
The church of Christ in our time has a spiritual battle against all spiritual enemies of God. In this battle, too, victory is achieved through God's help.
‘f God be for us, who can be against us?’ Romans 8:31.
In the days of Gideon, Israel did “that which is evil in the sight of the LORD” (Judges 6:1). Therefore the LORD will deliver them into the hand of the Midianites, who will pass through the land every year, plundering and destroying, seven years long. "Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD." (Judges 6:6) He then sent a prophet to remind the Israelites that the LORD had delivered them from Egypt and given them the land of Canaan. And that they should not despise the covenant relationship with Him through idolatry. See Deuteronomy 28 verse 15. Yet Gideon is called by the LORD to deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. He says to Gideon, "Because I will be with you, you will strike Midian as if it were only one man." (Judges 6:16)