Every Man in his Place
Judges 7:21″ And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.”
Here was a great Victory over their enemies, which were many:
Judges 7:12 “And the Midianites and the Amalekites, and 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 seaside for multitude.”
These had come into the land to plunder the goods that the Israelites had harvested.
They were a vast number of them which had banded together to go through Israel and take all they wanted.
But God was ready to intervene, and spoke to a man, Gideon, about the saving of Israel from them.
In case you think Gideon was godly; he wasn’t. He, and much of Israel had taken up with the gods of the people they dwelt among.
This was the reason that God permitted the bands of these nations to come and take their harvests, year after year.
But finally, God appeared to Gideon and called him to the work of saving Israel.
Judges 6:14-16 “And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
And he said unto him, O my Lord wherewith shall I save Israel? Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.
And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.”
There was an exchange between the Lord and Gideon; a lot of doubt and unbelief to overcome.
And it started by the Lord sending him to tear down the altar of Baal, which his family and the men of the city worshipped. He was then to build an altar to the Lord, and offer a bullock on it.
When he had done it, the city came against him; but his father stepped up and said:
Judges 6:31 “And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? Will ye save him?….if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.”
This was the beginning of a call of God, and away from idols, to these men, through Gideon.
Next, Gideon blew a trumpet to call men to battle against the Midianites. They came by the thousands.
You would think, “Wow, this is just how the Lord will save us! We will have a great army against these intruders!”
But the Lord ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9).
The Lord wanted Israel to know Him: He can save with few or many.
Judges 7:2 “And 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 has saved me.”
He knew the pride of man’s heart, and knew if many fought against many, and won; they would say it was numbers, not the Lord that saved them.
So the Lord told Gideon to tell all who were fearful to go home. Twenty two thousand left.
But there were still ten thousand.
The Lord said, there were still too many. So He made all the men come down to the water.
Those that picked up the water into his hand and lapped like a dog, was to be set aside.
Those that bowed down and drank from the water, were to be let go.
There were three hundred men that lapped the water.
Judges 7:7 “And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thy hand: and let all the other people go, every man into his place.”
Now, all along, the Lord has encouraged Gideon to do what He has told him to do.
Now after sending all but three hundred men away, the Lord encourages him again.
(Notice how God is in control over every one; the Midianite and his dream, as well as the Israelites)
Judges 7:9, 11, 13-14
“And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Arise, get thee down into the host for I have delivered it into thy hand.
And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shalt thine hands be strengthened to go down into the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.
And when Gideon was come, Behold, there was a man who 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.
And 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.”
Wow! God spoke directly through the enemy!
After hearing this, Gideon worshipped. Worship is counting God worthy of our all: praise, and obedience.
Judges 7:15 “And 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.”
He divides his men into three companies; giving each man a trumpet, and empty pitchers with lamps in the pitchers.
He told them: Look on me and do what I do. When we come to the outside of the camp, when I blow the trumpet, so should you blow your trumpets; and say the sword of the Lord and of Gideon.
So they came around the camp:
Judges 7:19-22a “So Gideon, and the three 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 there hands.
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held their 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.
And they stood every man in their place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow:”
Coming in the middle of the night, when the watches were just changed. New men were coming and going in the camp. Men entering into their tents for sleep; when suddenly, trumpets were blowing, lights were flashing, and men were shouting about the sword of the Lord and of Gideon!
What a scene of sudden chaos! Who would know whether the man entering the tent was friend or foe. Best not to take any chances, and strike him down!
Fear came upon the Midianites, and they ran; running into, and fighting their own men, not sure what was happening.
This was a great Victory for the Lord.
And it was accomplished by one man, standing with God in the calling he was given; and leading the rest to stand “every man in their place.”
What of us? Has God called us to a work? A prayer time? To witness for Him?
Then surely He will encourage us, in the work; however the encouragement comes.
And we should stand in our place, looking to Him for guidance, and doing as He directs us.
He has given a voice, and the light of the Holy Spirit within us; let us use them under His guidance.