Sometimes Less Is More
Listen…! This is what the LORD says to you: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (from 2 Chronicles 20:15)
To prepare for a church function recently, I was assigned seven helpers. But as the time drew near, my helpers dwindled down to four. I said, “How can we do this? We need more help.” But God reminded me of Gideon’s army. “More” was not the answer.
God assured Gideon that He would be with him when he and his men went into battle. Then He told him, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’ ” Twenty-two thousand men left; ten thousand remained.(Judges 7:2-3).
But God didn’t stop with that. He culled the number down to three hundred men. An impossible number! The enemy—the Midianites, joined by the Amalekites and other eastern peoples—were as “thick as locusts with camels that could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore (Judges 7:12).
The word “army” in 2 Chronicles 20:15 quoted above is hamown meaning “roar, crowd, abundance, tumult, sound, confusion, great number or multitude.”* The armies my team faced as we prepared for the church function included all the roaring noises we heard in the background of our lives—such as families and jobs. We also had the great number of tasks we had to do and the confusion of conflicting opinions as to how we should do them. But God had the winning battle plan. And it included reducing our helpers in order that we would not boast in our own strength.
Whenever God sends you into battle against clamoring needs to be met, confusing opinions to be considered, and crowds roaring for your attention, remember the battle will not be won with more of anything. It will be won by God’s Presence with you. He will supply your needs—His way.
Read Judges 7:4-8. What unusual method did God tell Gideon to use to further reduce the size of his army? In what way were the ones who knelt down to drink superior to those who lapped the water with their tongues like a dog?
Read Judges 7:16-22. What odd weapons did God tell Gideon and army to take into battle? What happened when they used them? Has God ever given you odd weapons for what you needed to do? Consider the weapons for spiritual warfare is mentioned in Ephesians 6:12-18.
A good example of how less outdid more was the army of Israel facing the giant Goliath versus David single-handedly slaying him (1 Samuel 17:1-51). When have you experienced less outdoing more in God’ hands?
Nancy J. Baker
*Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for hamown (Strong’s 1995)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 6 Feb 2013. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?