Meditations by John Dean

Monday, June 24, 2013

We Will Not Retreat

(Judges 7:7 KJV) And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. 

Through the years while reading the Bible I have enjoyed studying the type of men the Lord seems to always choose to do important things. All of these men seem to have three things in common. The first thing they have in common is their low self-esteem…such as Moses. The second thing they seem to have in common is their strong dependence on the guidance of the Lord…such as Elijah. The third thing they seem to have in common is their strict obedience to the voice of the Lord…such as Gideon.

Gideon was chosen by the Lord to lead the army of Israel into battle against the well-trained Midianites, who had been oppressing them for years. However, Gideon’s qualification for leading such an army was little more than threshing wheat in his father’s winepress…whatever that is worth. In spite of that, the angel of the Lord was sent to tell Gideon, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor”.

However, up until that point it did not seem that Gideon had actually done anything to indicate that he was a “mighty man of valor”. I find it interesting as well as comforting to know the Lord never sees us as we are, but as we were meant to be…and Gideon was meant to be a “mighty man of valor”.

The Lord set Gideon up for such an honor by reducing his army from thirty-two thousand men to three hundred men, that would go on to defeat the great army of the Midianites.

This is a good example of how God choses “the foolish things to confound the wise”.

The other day while traveling east of Houston, Texas I stopped at the San Jacinto Monument. This monument was erected on the battle field where General Sam Houston had defeated General Santa Anna from Mexico for the independence of Texas.

The likelihood of Sam Houston winning this battle was remote since Santa Anna had won every other battle up until then. He had defeated those at the Alamo, he had won the battle at Goliad, and now Santa Anna’s plans were to swat General Sam Houston’s small army at San Jacinto. This victory should stop these rebellious Texicans once and for all from any further idea of wanting to become an independent nation.

 General Sam Houston was so devoted to fighting and winning this war that he even had a nearby bridge burned, which left no way for either side to escape. His idea was that they would either win or die…but they would not retreat.

The arrogant General Santa Anna was so sure that the victory would be his that he and his men took a three o’clock siesta. While they slept, General Sam Houston and his men swooped down on them and defeated Santa Anna’s great army in only eighteen minutes…and with that Texas won its independence.

While at the San Jacinto monument that day I realized that all of our battles are ultimately won by the Lord. Perhaps our only part is to remain small in our own eyes as did Gideon and his army or to burn our bridge of retreat as did General Sam Houston.

Thank You for reminding us once again that it is “ Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts”.  (Zechariah 4:6)

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