"He divided the three hundred men into three companies. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar, with a torch in the jar. He said, "Watch me and do what I do. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly what I do. When I and those with me blow the trumpets, you also, all around the camp, blow your trumpets and shout, 'For God and for Gideon!'" Gideon and his hundred men got to the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after the sentries had been posted. They blew the trumpets, at the same time smashing the jars they carried. All three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands, ready to blow, and shouted, "A sword for God and for Gideon!" They were stationed all around the camp, each man at his post. The whole Midianite camp jumped to its feet. They yelled and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, God aimed each Midianite's sword against his companion, all over the camp. They ran for their lives - to Beth Shittah, toward Zererah, to the border of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. Israelites rallied from Naphtali, from Asher, and from all over Manasseh. They had Midian on the run. Gideon then sent messengers through all the hill country of Ephraim, urging them, "Come down against Midian! Capture the fords of the Jordan at Beth Barah." So all the men of Ephraim rallied and captured the fords of the Jordan at Beth Barah. They also captured the two Midianite commanders Oreb (Raven) and Zeeb (Wolf). They killed Oreb at Raven Rock; Zeeb they killed at Wolf Winepress. And they pressed the pursuit of Midian. They brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon across the Jordan."
There was a reason God chose Gideon for this task. Gideon didn't just accept the circumstances of a small army and come raging into a formidable enemy camp. Gideon was clever - he knew that a few men could make noise like thousands of men.
Gideon would have been tempted to dismay - the same way we are when we see great oppression and can't even begin to comprehend how we could make a difference. We see the looming world and, in contrast, our own small voice. We ache to change the things that crush people. We long to see God sweep out evil and flood the earth with light. And we will.
What if Martin Luther King had never spoken up? What if Deitrich Bonhoeffer had never stood up to Hitler? What if there was no underground railroad for people fleeing slavery? What if no one have ever hidden Jews and helped them hide from the Nazis? What if no one had ever chosen courage in the face of fear, despite standing alone?
Courage tells us that, if we listen to the fear that our voice is too small, we will never get to be a part of the revolution of freedom. It's not that we won't be afraid, or daunted by the size of the giant we're up against, but courage will invite us into something so much greater than ourselves.
Lets lend our voices to the sound of courage. Let us lay out our fleeces and follow God into justice and mercy. We may be small, and afraid, but God is FOR us and WITH us.
We can be a part of the sound that roots oppression from it's mighty stance. Courage, friends.
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Thank you for diving into this study on courage and Gideon's story with me, friends. I'm so grateful for your presence on the journey.