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What We Can Learn from Gideon’s 300

What We Can Learn from Gideon’s 300

in Bible Study

Have you ever heard of Gideon and the 300 men who saved the Israelites from the hands of the Midianites? Have you ever wondered why there were only 300 or how the process of choosing them go? Was it through boot camp? Or a battle of strengths? Let’s take a look at the story of Gideon’s 300.

Who was Gideon, and why was he chosen?

For a span of 7 years, Israel was oppressed and invaded by the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples (Nations who did not belong to God). This was due to their betrayal against God by worshipping the gods of the Amorites even when He had commanded them not to do so in Ex 20:3-6. The Israelites were impoverished by the Midianites that they cried out for help from God. Thus, God had chosen him, son of Joash the Abiezrite from the tribe of Manasseh, as a judge to save the people of Israel from the hands of the Midianites. 

Angels appear to Gideon

When he was chosen by God, he asked God for signs to prove that it was really Him speaking to Gideon.

First, through the meat and unleavened bread he prepared, God proved Himself by having His angel set the meat and bread on fire by just touching them with the tip of the staff in his hand.

Second, he placed a wool fleece on the threshing floor. He said that if there was dew only on the fleece and all the ground was dry, then he will know that God would really be with him to save Israel from the Midianites. The next day, God did so.

Lastly, he asked for one more request and this time, it was to make the fleece dry but have all the ground covered in dew. That night, God once again proved Himself to Gideon.

Through that, he was finally able to trust that God will really use him to defeat the Midianites and bring victory to Israel.

Why were only 300 people chosen?

Gideon and his 300 men

When all of his men were gathered and camped at the spring of Harod, there were originally 32,000 men. God said Gideon had too many men for Him to deliver Midian into their hands. At that time, the Israelites were worshipping the gods of the Amorites and had forgotten about Him already. Thus, God did not want Israel to think they defeated the Midianites because of their own strength but to know that it was through God that they were victorious. And so, the process of choosing the 300 people began.

Choosing the Three Hundred

God helped Gideon to choose his 300 men

To begin with the selection of the people who will be part of his army, God told Gideon to announce to the people that whoever trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead. With this command, 22,000 people left leaving 10,000 people in his army.

Even with 22,000 people leaving, God still said there were too many men. Thus, He told Gideon to take the men to the water where God will be sifting them. God said, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.” (New International Version, Judges 7.5). The 300 men who lapped water with their hands to their mouths were the ones chosen as Gideon’s 300.

Through Gideon and the 300 men, God was able to save the Israelites from the Midianites which brought peace to Israel for 40 years.

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