"A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!"

This stirring battle cry was made when the Lord gave the Midianites over to Israel, a story of faith in the Lord told in Judges 7. It is a theme repeated, over and over, in the history of God’s people Israel: faith in God, and only in Him, will bring about His purposes.

God acts through His people, and Gideon, through his faith, became one of God’s agents in human history. But Gideon knew that his victory had little to do with his own merit. It was solely due to God’s sovereignty, to God giving Gideon that which he needed to conquer the Midianites.

We have always had among us Midianites and Amalekites who would oppress us, even unto death. Simply because we worship God, and attempt to be faithful to His commandments. And, just as in Gideon’s time, we will always have, one must pray, stalwarts who will, with great humility, take up the sword to defend God’s people Israel today. Which people very much include those who proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.

The quotation, “a sword for the LORD and for Gideon” might be used by people who think that they, and not God, can be in charge of their destiny. After all, does it not imply an equal partnership? God, and Gideon. What a tag-team! This would seem to be some sort of proof of the un-biblical adage, “God helps those who help themselves.” The implication could be, that, somehow, God will only stick around to help only if we initiate the action.

There’s a reason you can’t find this in the Bible. It’s because it denies the sovereignty of God, and the hard truth that without God, nothing is possible. With Him, anything. But it starts, and ends, with God.

As we are told early in Judges 7:

2The LORD said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’

Israel, then, and now, has often made this error. God saves us, by giving us the strength to fight His fight.

When it becomes solely our fight, we will lose. Sooner or later.

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