Judges 7

* Gideon's army reduced. (1-8) Gideon is encouraged. (9-15) The

defeat of the Midianites. (16-22) The Ephraimites take Oreb and

Zeeb. (23-25)

#1-8. God provides that the praise of victory may be wholly to

himself, by appointing only three hundred men to be employed.

Activity and prudence go with dependence upon God for help in

our lawful undertakings. When the Lord sees that men would

overlook him, and through unbelief, would shrink from perilous

services, or that through pride they would vaunt themselves

against him, he will set them aside, and do his work by other

instruments. Pretences will be found by many, for deserting the

cause and escaping the cross. But though a religious society may

thus be made fewer in numbers, yet it will gain as to purity,

and may expect an increased blessing from the Lord. God chooses

to employ such as are not only well affected, but zealously

affected in a good thing. They grudged not at the liberty of the

others who were dismissed. In doing the duties required by God,

we must not regard the forwardness or backwardness of others,

nor what they do, but what God looks for at our hands. He is a

rare person who can endure that others should excel him in gifts

or blessings, or in liberty; so that we may say, it is by the

special grace of God that we regard what God says to us, and not

look to men what they do.9-15 The dream seemed to have little meaning in it; but the

interpretation evidently proved the whole to be from the Lord,

and discovered that the name of Gideon had filled the Midianites

with terror. Gideon took this as a sure pledge of success;

without delay he worshipped and praised God, and returned with

confidence to his three hundred men. Wherever we are, we may

speak to God, and worship him. God must have the praise of that

which encourages our faith. And his providence must be

acknowledged in events, though small and seemingly accidental.
16-22 This method of defeating the Midianites may be alluded

to, as exemplifying the destruction of the devil's kingdom in

the world, by the preaching of the everlasting gospel, the

sounding that trumpet, and the holding forth that light out of

earthen vessels, for such are the ministers of the gospel, #2Co

4:6,7|. God chose the foolish things of the world to confound

the wise, a barley-cake to overthrow the tents of Midian, that

the excellency of the power might be of God only. The gospel is

a sword, not in the hand, but in the mouth: the sword of the

Lord and of Gideon; of God and Jesus Christ, of Him that sits on

the throne and the Lamb. The wicked are often led to avenge the

cause of God upon each other, under the power of their

delusions, and the fury of their passions. See also how God

often makes the enemies of the church instruments to destroy one

another; it is a pity that the church's friends should ever act

like them.
23-25 Two chief commanders of the host of Midian were taken and

slain by the men of Ephraim. It were to be wished that we all

did as these did, and that where help is needed, that it were

willingly and readily performed by another. And that if there

were any excellent and profitable matter begun, we were willing

to have fellow-labourers to the finishing and perfecting the

same, and not, as often, hinder one another.

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