July 1, 2019: Day 65 – Judges 7

There is some confusion in this story.  As you think about the story of the selection of the soldiers to fight with Gideon, what do you remember?  Who was chosen to fight the battles, was it those who drank the water with their hand, or was it those who lapped the water, or are they one and the same?  If you look at the NRSV translation it says very clearly: “ The number of those that lapped was three hundred; but all the rest of the troops knelt down to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred that lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into your hand. Let all the others go to their homes.””

I had always thought that those who lapped the water were the ones who were sent home.  But noooo, they were the ones who remained and the ones who were chosen to go into battle.  The distinction is actually not about the method of drinking, it is whether they went down on their knees or not.  Only 300 of them were chosen out of 32,000 men who had begun the journey toward the battle against the Midianites and the Amalekites.  I love the discerning process.  Okay, if anyone wants to go home, go ahead on home.  If you are nervous, or just got married, whatever your reason, just go ahead on home. 

Also, if you look at vs.9 you see the Lord give Gideon a choice, it wasn’t really a choice between good and evil.  He could actually choose and it would have no impact upon the outcome.  He commands Gideon to go and attack the enemy, but if he is feeling a bit wimpy and nervous then hold off and just go down to the enemy camp and hear what they have to say.  There he hears someone who has a dream and in it Gideon conquers.  That is also somewhat stunning that the Lord makes provision for the fear of Gideon and provides him with encouragement, even if it means that the battle is somewhat delayed.  Does God delay our gratification or delay our results simply so that we can face the future with more conviction and determination?  It seems so here.

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