Faith Over Fear

The appearance of Gideon, the man of God, as bread in the dream also points to the future coming of Jesus Christ, the Greater Gideon. Like Gideon, Jesus is called the 

“bread of life,” is born in Bethlehem (which means “house of bread”), multiplied the bread of a boy to feed a crowd, and taught us to pray for our daily bread. Like Gideon, Jesus will return as a warrior leading an angelic army into battle to take down the tent of the Enemy once and for all. The little story of Gideon is a part of the bigger story of Jesus. 

Now filled with faith and the Spirit, Gideon followed God’s battle plan. First, they attacked at night – something not done in ancient battles. Typically, wars were fought in the daytime, with each side having banners lifted high over the battlefield, so that as their soldiers were wounded or wandered off having lost their bearings in the fight, they could regroup. Attacking at night would have been unexpected and a strategic surprise element. Rather than fighting, Gideon trusts the Lord to defeat the massive army, and their job was to worship God in faith and cause the enemy to worry in fear. Instead of taking up swords, the men filled jars with torches and took trumpets to blow. Gideon instructed them, “When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.’” To be sure, the battle cry is probably not the greatest demonstration of humility and sole glory to God. It’s a bit like a worship song written by a pastor in which the people sing both the praises of their God and their pastor. 

Doing perfect work through an imperfect person, which gives us hope, God graciously joins them in the battle. In this instance, various Scriptural principles are on full display: 

  • “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7) 
  • “The battle is the Lord’s.” (1 Samuel 17:47) 
  • Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6) 

The soldiers “blew the trumpets and smashed the jars.” God’s soldiers simply stood still as an act of worship and watched God do all the defeating and saving. “[T]he LORD set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army[.]” The surprise late-night attack, with the great noise and show of fire, created an illusion that caused the enemy camp to think they were being overtaken by a massive show of force. Filled with fear, the enemy panicked, with men grabbing swords and attacking one another in the darkness of night, killing their own comrades. 

In this are a few principles worth noting. 

  1. Our fears are often false prophecies about something that is untrue. In this instance, the enemy feared an invasion from a large army, but none of that was true. 
  2. Decisions made in fear instead of faith end in doom. In this scene, Gideon and his army stood still in faith and lived, while the enemy who was filled with fear died. 
  3. The key to victory is always worship. Gideon and his men did not engage the enemy in war as much as they engaged with God in worship. When we worship God, He will go before us and fight for us as He did on this historic day. Worship God and let God go to war for you. 

Lastly, the story of Gideon’s battle is a small chapter in the big story of the Bible, in which Jesus is the greater Gideon, His Second Coming is the greater war, and we are called to worship Him in faith, trusting that His promise to bring our victory is certain to pass. 

Where have you been experiencing fear in your own life? Take some time to acknowledge it and give it over to the Lord.

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