"Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod."
Judges 7: 1, King James Version
"Victory" - A successful struggle. Having triumphed.
"God wants us to be victors, not victims; to grow, not grovel; to soar, not sink; to overcome, not to be overwhelmed."
William Arthur Ward
"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
I Corinthians 15: 57, K.J.V.
If ever there was a war hero in the Bible, who knew what the word "victory" meant, it was Gideon. And in the Book of Judges, chapter seven, we find a detailed account of a battle that took place between the Israelites and the violent, oppressive Midianites who were as the Bible says "As grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number and they entered into the land (of the Israelites) to destroy it. And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites (Judges 6: 5-6, K.J.V.).
At this time the Israelites were so frightened by the army from Midian, they had taken to hiding in mountainous rocky areas and caves. Talk about being paralyzed by fear.
However, there was one man, Gideon, whom God called to be a catalyst. And a catalyst with God in his heart was just the person necessary to lead the Israelites at this crucial time.
With the power of God on his side, Gideon rallied the people. He had all the men who would volunteer meet him at the Well of Harod. Just for interest sake, I went to my Hebrew dictionary and guess what the meaning of "Harod" is? Believe it or not, "Harod" means fountain of trembling. And that's exactly what the Israelites were doing. Their knees were knocking together, their teeth were chattering and their hearts were pounding.
So God came to Gideon and said, "You have to get rid of some of these people." Gideon couldn't believe his ears! Too many? He didn't think he had enough. But God wasn't finished. "Proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart…and there returned twenty and two thousand (22,000); and there remained ten thousand (10,000) (Judges 7:2, 3 K.J.V.).'" Oops! That's major attrition. But the defections weren't over yet.
God said to Gideon again, ‘The people are yet too many; bring them to the water…every one that lappeth with his tongue set by himself, but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred (300)…all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the Lord said unto Gideon, by the three hundred (300) will I save you" (Judges 7: 4-7, K.J.V.). This is exactly what happened. These 300 men broke into three groups with trumpets and torches and God on their side and a decisive victory was the result.
Now, the key to this story - the answer to why so few were chosen by God is found in Judges 7: 2. You have 22,000 supposedly willing soldiers, camped by the "Well of Trembling." So God said, "Let the tremblers leave. I'm going for a victory today. And if those of you who will trust me, will rely on me, will look to me for your direction, will follow me - you'll be victorious." The 300 who were left were God's chosen army. Three hundred fighting against a multitude of people that were as plenteous as a swarm of insects. Pesky grasshoppers, no less.
But here's God's point. "There are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me" (Judges 7:2 K.J.V.). Or as the Amplified version says, "Lest Israel boast about themselves saying, ‘My own hand has delivered me.'"
Here is the heart of our devotional today. For there is a strategic advantage you and I have in the battles in our lives whether it is drug or alcohol addiction, family problems, or those personal battles we wage in our own hearts as we struggle to stay on a spiritual path with God. Our advantage is to remember who is in command and who deserves the credit for our victory. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, sayeth the Lord of hosts" (Zechariah 4: 6, K.J.V.).
In the beautiful words of St. Bernard, "If Christ is with us, who is against us?
You can fight with confidence where you are sure of victory. With Christ and for Christ victory is certain."
May whatever your "Well of Trembling" - is be turned into God's "Well of Victory" today.
"Victory is mine
I have overcome the world
my problems have already
been taken care of by Jesus.
By His amazing gift
has cleansed my sinful soul
because of this blessed assurance,
I can run this race."
As I Struggle To Walk With God
"Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him who loved us."
Romans 8: 37, Amplified Bible
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.