Part of a daily devotional series at Words of Hope (https://woh.org/word/devotionals/2013/03/11) looking at how people in the Bible handled tough situations:
Read: Judges 7:1-25
Key Verse: “The Midianites . . . had settled in the valley, thick as locusts.” (v. 12 NIV)
Have you ever played the numbers game? How many do they have versus how many do we have? How many will vote for me and how many will vote for my opponent? Numbers seem to be an indication of strength.
The Israelite judge Gideon had massed 32,000 able-bodied troops against the Midianites—raiders from the south and east who regularly plundered Israel’s produce. But the number of men he had was only a fraction of the enemy’s strength. The situation seemed hopeless. As someone once said, “It’s hard to remember your original purpose was to drain the swamp when you’re up to your neck in alligators.”
Sometimes we too try to get a numerical edge—in people, or programs, or dollars—to overwhelm our opponents. Gideon, however, went the other way. At God’s direction, and with God’s reassuring signs to encourage him, Gideon pared down his small army to only 300 men. And in a brilliant display of God’s power, the enemy was thrown into such confusion they destroyed themselves.
I have seen something similar in a small group when someone was facing what seemed like a hopeless situation. When the praying was over, everyone felt stronger and confident of victory. Numbers do not necessarily mean strength. The Lord is our strength.