And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.
Imagine this moment for Gideon. Here he was going out to war against a powerful and numerous host of people that had been oppressing Israel for years. And instead of adding to his numbers, he was whittling down his army to bare bones. He could see the great host beneath him in the valley, and yet he looked back at only 300 men on his side. It could have been a discouraging and fearful moment. He could have questioned what he was doing and how he had gotten to this place, wondering if he was really going to go forward.
But there was someone else, unseen, who was on his side, and Gideon was not the same cowering man who had been threshing wheat in secret. Now he knew God in a more personal way. Now he had met with God and experienced God. And so his faith in God was strong enough for him to go out and do exactly what God had told him to do and to face whatever came next. He wasn’t trusting at all in himself or this meager army, but totally in God.
We may kind of scoff at Gideon for asking for signs with the fleece as he did, but how often are we so brave and assured the first time God asks us to do something that seems so difficult and out of our league? And so perhaps it was the visions of those fleece in his mind that enabled Gideon to keep going forward without turning back from fear. He had that assurance that he needed and headed out into battle under less and less promising conditions, and because he’d gotten those signs, he knew so surely that he could believe God for everything, that he could trust Him, that he was going to trust Him, come what may.
In our lives, we may find ourselves in a situation like Gideon. It seems impossible to overcome what we’re facing with what we have with us. We may not understand what God is asking of us or how He’s working for us. But have we spent enough time with Him to go forward anyway? Have we sought Him and sought reassurance from Him to bolster our faith and keep us moving ahead in obedience? Have we decided to trust Him no matter what happens because we know Him to be a God who keeps His promises? Let us go forth into our battle with confidence not in ourselves or what we have, but in the God who has led us there.