An Israelite Soldier's Thoughts
Gideon yelled for us to wake up. It was the middle of the night!
I'd finally fallen asleep and walked into the best dream ever. Well, such was the life of a soldier.
I grabbed my weapons and hurried with the other 299 men to meet with Gideon. How did I know we had 300 all together you ask? Gideon was no ordinary leader. Here's what happened:
Thirty two thousand men answered the call to fight this battle. One night during training, Gideon surprised us all. He called a meeting then announced: "Anyone who is afraid may go home. No question will be asked."
We lost 22,000 men that night. How would we win a battle with only 1000 men?
The next day Gideon took us to the river and watched each man drink. He sent those who lapped water like a dog home! 700 soldiers! I'm glad I scooped water into my hand then brought it to my mouth to drink. Only 300 men became the chosen soldiers.
Gideon didn't think of these ideas on his own. The Lord gave him these instructions. To think, I had passed the Lord's tests to be a soldier in Gideon's army.
All the men assembled around Gideon with their weapons as fast as a lightening bolt. Our leader folded his arms and glanced at our weapons. "Leave you weapons here. The Lord has instructed us to use a different battle strategy."
We immediately dropped our weapons and stood ready to obey.
Gideon nodded. "Good." He walked through our group sorting us into units of 100 men. Each unit had a commander assigned. Gideon chose me as commander of my unit. I promised to faithfully follow his instructions, no matter how odd they seemed.
He pointed to a pile of trumpets, empty pitchers, and torches. "Give your men one of each." I immediately went to the piles, gathered our supplies, and gave each of my men one trumpet, one empty pitcher, and one torch. We stood before Gideon ready to hear the next instruction.
Gideon pressed his shoulders back. "Watch me and do what I do. When I come to the edge of the camp I and those in my unit will blow the trumpets then you blow your trumpets from your positions. I will then shout 'The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.', you do the same."
I understood his plan right away. Usually a whole unit of men would have only one trumpet blow and one torch lit. Three hundred trumpets and torches would look like a mighty army to the Midianites. Since we would stand on the cliffs and hills surrounding their army, they would think thousands of soldiers stood behind our men. The dark sky would help confuse our enemy.
This was a great battle plan.
I had heard about the Jericho battle when the Lord caused the city walls to fall. The Lord told the soldiers to walk around the city for seven days. After they obeyed, the city walls fell giving the Israelites an easy victory. All we have to do is obey. The Lord will take care of giving us the victory. Oooooo I can't wait to see what happens.
Come back next week, I'll tell you what the Lord did during this battle.
1. What did the soldiers do when Gideon told them not to use their weapons.
2. Gideon divided the men into what groups?
3. What did Gideon give each man?
4. What did Gideon tell the men to do first? Second?
5. Who's battle plan was this?
6. What important action did the soldiers do? (hint did they question Gideon's orders?)
7. God will sometimes ask us to do unusual things. Why should we obey like today's soldiers obeyed?