“So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, ‘Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.’ Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink” (Judges 7:5-6 NIV).
Gideon sounds an alarm;
Midianites are causing them harm;
There is not much harvest in the farm.
When WILLINGNESS is called to count, 32,000 avail themselves.
They are willing to fight;
Soon they will be showing their might;
But wait! Their willingness dissolves in fright.
God tells Gideon not to look only for willingness,
Because willingness without courage is meaningless,
It was time for the Israelites to shun godlessness.
When COURAGE is called to count, 22,000 disqualify themselves.
The number had remarkably dwindled,
But still large enough to cause the glory to be swindled;
Temptation to take the glory must be bridled.
The number had to be reduced, check their indulgence;
Take them to the water and there test their vigilance;
This had to be done before they advance.
When VIGILANCE is called to count, only 300 qualify.
First: HEAR the call;
Second: HEED the call—be WILLING to be deployed;
Third: To WILLINGNESS add COURAGE;
Fourth: To COURAGE add VIGILANCE;
Fifth: Wrap all these qualities with HUMILITY.
You are attentive—you hear the call;
You are responsive—you heed the call;
You are combative—you marshal courage;
You are not obsessive—you are not consumed by the cares of life.
But despite all the above ‘merits’, you still give ALL the GLORY to God.
From 32,000 to 300: The path is indeed narrow, who can find it?
Only by the grace.