Problem- a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.
In the Old Testament in the Bible, there’s a book called Judges in which we find two tribes of people called Ephraim and Manasseh who experienced oppression for seven years from a much larger and stronger tribe called the Midianites. The Midianites would come through their land around harvest time when all their crops were ready to be picked and steal everything, and there was nothing they could do about it because Ephraim and Manasseh were much smaller. To survive these two small tribes would grow their grain and hide it away in caves to keep it away from the Midianites. One day God spoke to a man named Gideon and told him that he was going to help his people get out of this oppression they were facing.
God told Gideon to mobilize an army to defeat the Midianites. He did just that and got an army together of around 32,000 people. It had seemed like a pretty good amount, but the Midianite army was believed to have over 160,000 soldiers in it.
That seems like a pretty impossible fight if you ask me. Gideon’s army had 20% of the amount of people his enemies did. Put yourself in the shoes of Gideon and his troops, could you imagine how scared you’d be? That tribe that’s been bullying you for years has five times the amount of soldiers you have!
This next part is so ridiculous that it could only be God.
God instructed Gideon to give these soldiers a way out; He told him to tell any soldier who was afraid of the enemy to go back home. Gideon did just that.
I’m sure Gideon in his mind thought that these guys were the manliest of men and would stand tall and start a big rally cry and say they weren’t leaving, they were all in this together. BUT that didn’t happen 22,000 men left his army!!!!! 22,000 !!! Now Gideon was left with 10,000 soldiers against 160,000 Midianite soldiers.
They now only had about 6.25% of what their enemies had in regards to soldiers.
Just when he thought this was it God told Gideon to cut his army one more time. This time he was asked to narrow his army based on how his soldiers drank water. It seems so silly, but this is what happened, Gideon cut down his army based on how the soldiers drank their water. God told him that if a soldier got down in the river and drank with two hands, he was to be removed from the army, and if a soldier were to drink with one hand and hold his spear with the other, he were to remain in the army. Gideon once again had faith that God was leading him and he obeyed.
After this final cut, he was left with only 300 soldiers. Gideon’s army went from 32,000 to 10,000 to 300! That means Gideon’s army was .1% not even a full percent of the size of the Midianite army that he was supposed to fight!
What do you think happened? Gideon’s army won! He had defeated the Midianite army! All 160,000 plus of them! All the glory goes to God!
I think God wanted to show us something with this story. We all have obstacles in our life whether it be financial, spiritual, educational, relational, or otherwise, we have them there, and we are all trying to defeat them. Most times we decide to fight this battle by ourselves. We calculate what works best, and we attack it, but we always find ourselves back at square one looking for an answer to overcome the issue. Gideon was in this same spot for seven years until he finally listened to what God wanted him to do, and even when he heard what God commanded of him it wasn’t something that was easy, it was something that seemed impossible!
Here’s where we come in! I want to challenge each of you to enlist God in your battle with an issue that is plaguing your life. Like Gideon, we might find God lead us to do things that we never thought of doing before, things that may scare us. That’s how we know it’s God! He looks at our problems, our obstacles, our odds, our situation and He knows that if we listened to Him, we could overcome them and move forward.
With God, our problems are nothing more than a way for Him to show how truly powerful He is.
Thanks for reading,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and He will show you the right way.” – Proverbs 3:5-6