Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Leadership (03/14/05)
TITLE: The World's Strangest Leader
By Delores Baber
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We take you now to our embedded reporter, Delila, “Tell us, Delila, what have you learned so far?” “Dan, it is just unbelievable! I’ve interviewed several of the men and the story I’m getting . . . well, frankly, it makes absolutely no sense! If you can pan the cameras around you’ll notice that the army is quite small. No more than about 300 men.”
“Excuse me, excuse me, Delila! Sorry to interrupt you, but did I hear you correctly? Only 300 men? Do they have any idea how large the army is that is advancing on them, even as we speak? Isn’t there some appeal that their leader can make to enlist more men? Back to you, Delila.”
“Dan, are you ready for this!? He HAD more men. Thousands more. He sent them home. He said, (and I’m quoting now) “the army’s too big.” Then he preceded to whittle the numbers down from well over 20,000 men to the 300 we see here now. Even with the 22,000 he started with, they still would have been greatly out numbered. But 300!? It’s unheard of! A rumor has been spreading among the troops that perhaps he has a secret weapon he plans to use. Everyone here is anxiously awaiting his instructions.
“Dan, a young man has just walked up and I think you’re going to want to hear this. Sir, you said your name is Nathan?” “Yes, Maam, Nathan, the son of Jochaped of the tribe of Ephraim.” “ Tell us Nathan, what’s happening? I see some activity. What’s the plan?” “Well, Maam, the men are receiving their gear. The enemy has set up camp right below us in that valley. I don’t mind telling you, there sure is a lot of ‘em down there! Yes, Maam, a whole lot! I don’t believe I’ve even seen that many people in one spot.”
“Tell us, Nathan . . . Nathan, look at me, forget the hoards below for a moment. Tell me about the gear. I imagine the swords are finely honed and sharpened.” “Well, Maam, he’s not passing out any swords.” “Oh, well then, tell me about the bows and arrows.” “Nope, none of them either.” “Spears?” “Sorry, no spears. But our leader assures us we have everything we need to win.” Turning to the camera Delila addresses Dan, “It’s just as I suspected. Their leader must be planning to use some powerful secret weapon, since none of the traditional war tools are being employed. I’ll see if I can get any information out of Nathan about this.”
“Tell us, Nathan, what’s in the gear that would enable 300 men to defeat this vast army of Midianites? You can trust me, Nathan. What’s the secret?” “Well. Maam, I’m kinda new to this war business, so I don’t know what gear is normal but here’s what he gave me.” He laid before her ever widening eyes, a trumpet, a clay pot and a torch.
“That’s all each of you have?!” “Yes maam, that’s all he gave us. But he swears it’s enough and Maam, for some reason, I believe him.”
“God help them, Dan.”
The next morning . . . oh, you can read it for yourself. It’s in the 8th chapter of Judges.
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