Judges 7:1-7 (NIV)
1 Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh.
2 The LORD said to Gideon, “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,
3 announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.'” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
4 But the LORD said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”
5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.”
6 Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
7 The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.”
Judges 8:10 (NIV)
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with a force of about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of the armies of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen had fallen.
God has a great sense of humor. When the Midianites were warring against Israel God chose the weakest man in the weakest clan of Israel to lead the nation into battle against a formidable foe.
The Midianite forces numbered 135,000. Israel had 30,000. Israel was outnumbered a little more than four to one. That usually would not be a great sign if you wanted to secure a victory. Gideon goes about collecting men to fight. The final number is 32,00 fighting men. If you would have been there counting the opposing force and your own men things would not look hopeful.
Things are going to get a whole lot worse in just a minute. Gideon meets with God and he is told he has too many men. The call goes out to reduce the number. God tells Gideon to tell everyone who is scared they can go home; they don’t have to fight.
After Gideon gives a call to rms he sees 22,000 men pick up their shields and swords and go back home. Now Israel is outnumbered thirteen to one. Gideon perhaps thought things could not look any less hopeful, but he would have been wrong. God instructs him to have the 10,000 men go to the river and drink. The ones who drank from a kneeling position from those who eel on the ground to drink were the ones God wanted to war against the Midianites.
The force of men was reduced even further to 300. The odds now were thirty-nine to one. But wait there is more. Gideon took the 300 men and separated them in three companies of 100 each. It would be his company of one hundred that would engage the Midianite force at first.
Let’s do the math. The Midianites had 135,000 fighting men to Gideon’s company of one hundred. Odds were now 139 to 1. Who would ever go to war with those odds? Apparently, God’s men do so all the time.
Do you feel outnumbered? Too much load to carry. Too many things to worry about. Are the odds against you? Well then, my dear saint, this is exactly where God desires you to be. He leads you to situations like this so you can see that He is the one who fights for you. It has nothing to do with your strength but everything to do with HIs.
Reason to rejoice: God is a majority all by himself, you get to go along for the ride and watch him wage war against your worst enemies.