There is one final test before the fulfillment of Gideon’s destiny. Gideon has gathered quite an impressive force himself. As a matter of fact, there are too many soldiers. What? Too many!? You must be kidding! Yes, there are too many soldiers. Why? God also knows the heart of the people of Israel and their “sin cycle.” When Israel wins this battle and is delivered, the people will believe it was accomplished by their own strength. So, most will soon return to their homes, continue their rebellion against God, and resume their worship of idols.
So God through two tests whittles the army down to his ideal number…300. That’s right, only 300 soldiers against a much more powerful foe. If you think Gideon was anxious before…?
Why does it seem as if God always makes things more difficult? Let me tell you, He is not doing so in order to “toy” with us. He will only do such a thing if He has a greater purpose in mind, one we are unable to clearly see at this time. God has a perfectly legitimate reason for making the victory than originally anticipated. God reveals His broader purpose in this case in part as an example for us…today. His ultimate goal (beyond winning one battle) was, as always, to be the God of the people of Israel, to abolish “the sin cycle” once and for all, and to have a people who delighted in the Lord. This is the reason thousands of soldiers were turned away until there were 300 remaining for the battle. Then, and only then, the people would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this victory was wrought by the hand of the Lord God.
As promised, God delivered his people by the hand of Gideon. The land experienced peace for forty years (Judges 8:28). Please do not misunderstand; Gideon was still “a work in process” as we all are. Like Gideon our destiny unfolds before us when we being to obey the Lord’s will each day.
God has a plan for every one of us. He calls us. No excuses are acceptable. He instills sufficient talents, strengths, and abilities within us in order to accomplish our destiny. The fulfillment of our destiny will undergo serious tests. We cannot succeed without God…every day…every hour…every minute…every breath. We breathe God’s “zoe” life, His spirit, into our souls. Destiny questioned…destiny tested…destiny accomplished…through Christ Jesus our Lord.