Okay, before our verses, here’s a question for you. Show of hands: who laps water up like a dog?
But the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. Then the LORD said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.” So the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands. And he sent away all the rest of Israel, every man to his tent, and retained those three hundred men. Now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
This story makes me laugh, especially when I think of people around me. Think about other people in your class or youth group or church: who would be the one to lap up water like a dog? There’s somebody in every group that’s just a little off. About 3% of people, if this group of Israelites is a good sample population.
Those people, who we consider to be a little strange, are those people who God chose to deliver the Midianites into their hands. Why those ones? Would they be the better fighters? Strategists?
I’m thinking of a line from the movie Facing the Giants, between David and his father. His dad told David that ever since he was born, he had asked God to show how great He was through David. David asked, ‘Then why’d he make me so small?’. ‘To show how big He is.” was the answer.
In the same way, God called these people to show how great and mighty He is. Think about it this way: a six foot tall Navy SEAL against a five year old. If the SEAL wins, then all is as it should be. But if the five year old wins, we have a miracle on our hands (and our country would be in considerably deep trouble).
In His Service,