Sometimes we have to face issues that seem downright impossible.
Gideon certainly felt this way when God called him to raise an army to fight against the Midianites (Judges 6). The Bible does not specifically mention how many Midianites there were occupying Israel, but according to the John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, a fair estimate would have been 135,000 Midianites.
Gideon had gathered a mighty force of 32,000 Israelites to stand against their enemy. This meant there were 4.2 Midianites to 1 Israelite fighter. Not very good odds, but if they were lucky, the fight could be won.
However, God had something else in mind. He told Gideon, “You have too many men…In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her…anyone who trembles with fear may turn back” (Judges 7:2-3 NIV).
All those scared to fight left, leaving 10,000 men remaining. This meant there were 13.5 Midianites to 1 Israelite. It was certainly a worse ratio than before, but there was a slight chance the attack wouldn’t be a suicide mission.
However, God had more to say, “There are still too many men” (Judges 7:4). He did not want Israel to think that it had won the battle on its own, even if the odds were slim.
So God did something unheard of. He chose 300 men to fight. This meant that there were 450 Midanites per 1 Israelite. The odds had steadily worsened each time:
- First sweep: 4.2 to 1
- Second sweep: 13.5 to 1
- Final sweep: 450 to 1
The numbers jumped from an unlikely victory to a no-way-fat-chance-not-happening-in-a-million-years victory in one sweep. Suddenly, Gideon and the rest of Israel had to come to grips with the fact that they were never going to win this fight on their own. Trusting God in this impossible circumstance was the only way out.
Luckily, God had a plan, and with His help, Gideon and his 300 men drove the Midianites from the land. So whenever you feel like you have a situation that seems impossible, instead of focusing on yourself, focus on the God who wins impossible battles.
That way, you can see how your situation can give Him glory once you let Him become the commander of it.
Copyright 2015 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.