Dave Burnette's Commentary

Judges Chapter 7

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Samuel 
Date Penned: (550 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel's Compromise in the Promised Land (c 1-21)
Theme: The Rescue of Israel by the Judges (c 3-16)
Message: Gideon Selects an Army and Defeats Midian (v 1-25)

Judges 7 Commentary

(7:2) A Victory Delivered by God - Self-sufficiency is a handicap when it causes us to believe we can do what needs to be done in our own strength. To prevent this attitude among Gideon's soldiers, God reduced their number from 32,000 to 300. With an army this vastly outnumbered, there could be no doubt that victory was from God. The men would not be able to take the credit. Like Gideon, we must recognize the danger of fighting in our own strength. We can be confident of victory against life's challenges and temptations only if we put our confidence in God and trust the plan that he wants to work through us. God's plans for us will often make it completely evident to us that victory was his doing, not ours.

(7:10-11) Gideon Doubts the Lord - Facing overwhelming odds, Gideon was afraid. God understood his fear, but he didn't excuse Gideon from his task. Instead, he allowed Gideon to slip into the enemy camp and overhear a conversation that would give him courage

(7:12) The Midianites - Midianites were camel-riding marauders composed of five families linked to Abraham through Midian, the son of Abraham's second wife, Keturah. They inhabited the desert regions from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea.

(7:13) Overwhelming Odds - An enemy soldier dreamed of a loaf of barley bread tumbling into camp. Barley grain was only half the value of wheat, and the bread made from it was considered inferior. In the same way, Israel's tiny band of men was considered inferior to the vast forces of Midian and Amalek. But God would make the underdog Israelites seem invincible.

(7:15) Following the Lord - Are you facing a battle with internal or external foes that have defeated you in the past or appear invincible today? God can give you the strength you need for any situation. And don't be startled by the way he helps you. Like Gideon, you must listen to God and be ready to take the first step. Only after you begin to obey God will you find the courage to move ahead.

(7:21) God Demonstrates His Power - Gideon's warriors simply watched as the army of Midian fell into panic, confusion, and disordered retreat. Not one soldier had to draw a sword to defeat the enemy. Gideon's small army could never have achieved such a victory in their own strength. God wanted to demonstrate to Israel that victory depends not on strength or numbers but on obedience and commitment to him.



Dave Burnette's Life Application

God's Ways are Not Our Ways


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Judges with Chapter 7 and we see Gideon selects an army and defeats the Midianites. What catches my eye is the way the Lord defeated the enemy. Having Gideon to trim his army down to what seemed to be impossible odds, Then having the Midian army killing itself in a serious of strategic moves. In making application we see that God ways are not our ways. God has a plan and we must be obedient even when we don't understand the outcome. It reminds me of a set of Bibles I sent to Ghana. They never reached their destination and it disappointed me. Later that year I received a letter from Kenya of a man who received Christ as a result of getting a Bible we sent. I never sent these Bibles but the picture he sent showed the Bibles that I had sent to Ghana months ago. In this incident God's way was not my way - but God's will was done and they ended up where He wanted the Bibles to go. How about you? Do you see the Lord's ways are not our ways? Let us learn from our text today being obedient in the instruction of the Lord realizing the Lord's ways are not our ways.  


Judges 7

Judges 7

 1Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

 2And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

 3Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

 4And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

 5So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.

 6And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

 7And 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.

 8So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

 9And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.

 10But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host:

 11And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.

 12And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.

 13And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.

 14And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.

 15And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.

 16And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.

 17And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.

 18When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

 19So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.

 20And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

 21And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.

 22And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.

 23And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.

 24And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.

 25And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.