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Q3. (Judges 7:1-3) Why did God feel Gideon's army was too large? Why was shrinking the army's size to a tiny band essential in restoring Israel's faith and allegiance? What kinds of pressures would Gideon be feeling not to obey God in shrinking his army? How was Gideon able to obey God fully in this?

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I think that if God had allowed Gideon to attack the Midianites with such a big army (22,000 men), the people of Israel would believe that they defeated the Midianites by their own strength and not by God's help.

Shrinking the army's size to a tiny band was essential in restoring Israel's faith and allegiance, because will show them that God could defeat any army in the world, no mattere how big this army could be, God wanted for the people of Israell to trust, obey and have faith in Him.

God had delivered Israel in the past and He was about to prove them that He could deliver them again.

By human standars what Gideon was doing in shrinking his army, wasa mistake a tactical error, but those who thought that way didn't take in consideration that God already told Gideon that the Midianites were on his hands, and also that Gideon was choosed by God to deliver Israel from the Midianites.

God showed Gideon once again that he would be able to defeat the Midianites, God ordered Gideon to sneak into the Midianites' camp and listen with his own ears what was about to happen to the Midianites. I believe that Gideon learned to have faith in the Lord without any doubts.

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isn't it just amazing that God was trying to protect his people from the sin of saying "my own hand has saved me" ? Now that is a lesson for today....Thank you Dear Father that it is you that has always carried me....that in myself there is no good thing....if it comes from me and it is good...It is Jesus....Thank you God.

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Men would receive the glory of the victory instead of God if they continued with the larger army. Israelites needed to see God work through this small group of soldiers and be reminded of what powerful things God had done for them in the past. I am sure the soldiers wanted to keep their army as large as possible but Gideon now trusted God completely.

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The Israelites would have thought that they alone defaeted the Midianites if they had had a large army.

So that God could prove who He is and to show that He alone could save the Israelites.

I believe that Gideon had some doubts about what the soldiers were saying when he was shrinking the army, they must have thought that he was mad, but Gidean was learning to trust God more and more.

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Why did God feel Gideon's army was too large? Why was shrinking the army's size to a tiny band essential in restoring Israel's faith and allegiance? What kinds of pressures would Gideon be feeling NOT to obey God in shrinking his army? How was Gideon able to obey God fully in this?

>> God felt that Gideon's army was too large and needed to reduce it in number because he did not want Israel to take credit for the victory. Israel has been so unfaithful in the past and their faith returns only if things go well for them. This time, God would not allow that to happen again.

>> Gideon did not allow his pride to prevail. He fully obeyed God with humility. There is nothing to be afraid of knowing God was in his side. It was God's battle, it was he who was chosen to carry out this battle with faithfulness and obedience. Knowing God in your side, there is no other reason to be afraid of.

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We have a tendency to become blinded by fame and success. As was stated in the lesson, we tend to take credit for everything we accomplish. A part of why this happens is because we love to bask in the attention that we receive from our admirers. And because we are so blinded by the glory and the attention that the movie and tv stars receive, some people would give (and show to the public) anything just to become part of that "elite" crowd.

This is what the Lord prevented from happening. As was stated in the lesson, the Lord made sure that the victory that they will accomplish will be nothing short of a miracle. Thus, the people's worship will not be directed to the army but to the Lord.

But even though this is the case, we can assume that the level of the army's zeal was slowly going down when they saw their numbers were slowly but surely shrinking. At least one of those that were left were thinking that the probability of them winning the war went down for every person that was sent home. And Gideon must have, in one way or another, felt the same way. Gideon must have also seen the reluctant compliance of those who were sent home. Some of the soldiers must've also made some not-too-friendly side comments about Gideon's decision to send most of them home and I'm quite sure Gideon heard at least some of them. This must've pressured Gideon not to obey the Lord. Fortunately, his trust in the Lord was greater than his trust in his men. Because had he not obeyed and trusted in the Lord, I personally think that they would really have been decimated by the enemy.

Before I end this, here's a little food for thought. :)

Here in the Philippines, we have a term for the people who worship those movie stars. We add the suffix "-ian" or "-nian" to the first name of the star. So the followers of movie star named Nora becomes Noranians and followers of a star named Vilma becomes Vilmanians and so on and so forth. Thus being the case, as Christians, shouldn't we give the Lord the same zeal and attention that those people give to the person they "worship"? ;)

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I have discovered as I walk with the Lord that the relationship he wants to have with me (a) should glorify him first and always (B) should be based on total faith and trust in him © should be based on going to him first. Things work out for the better, problems are solved and relationships are healed and grow, if I keep these in mind.

That is what is happening in this passage. The relationship God has with Gideon is going to glorify God first and bring Gideon (and the army) to a point of total faith and trust in the living God. This will all lead Gideon to a point where he will go to God first. It won't work if Gideon (and his army) think their size and strength resulted in success.

So why do we slip? Why do we all intellectually and spiritually affirm this but we lose the grip? Because the world (and its master, Satan) are constantly bombarding us with "alternatives" to God and to reliance on him.

Father, thank you for being faithful to us. Thank you for being there for us, every step of the way. Bring us to point where we turn to you first, always, everyday, all day.

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Why did God feel Gideon's army was too large?

There were too many men in the army to give God the glory. The numbers would have given Israel the potential to boast that they saved themselves through their own strength.

Why was shrinking the army's size to a tiny band essential in restoring Israel's faith and allegiance?

God wanted to make sure that Israel knew for sure that their deliverance was from the Lord. By reducing the size of the army to a size that would have been totally against all odds of survival was God able to show that He was the reason thay were delivered.

What kinds of pressures would Gideon be feeling NOT to obey God in shrinking his army?

He would probably be concerned about how others saw him as a leader. It was a bold move to call the army together, and a large army came together because of his charisma. What will people think?

How was Gideon able to obey God fully in this?

He knew that this is the Lord's plan. He was listened and was obedient to the Lord. The Lord said that he will help Gideon know who should go and who will stay and be a part of the army.

Judg 7:4-6

4 But the LORD said to Gideon, "There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, 'This one shall go with you,' he shall go; but if I say, 'This one shall not go with you,' he shall not go."

5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink." 6 Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.

(from New International Version)

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God knew the hearts of the Israelites, that they were a prideful people.

He knew them more than they knew themselves and knew what the outcome

would be if he allowed their army to dominate and win because of their


Shrinking of the army was necessary because through the eyes of men seeing

their numbers as they were at 32,000 at least they would have a fighting

chance against the Midianites. With the present army of men they had and

if they won they could go around boasting and giving themselves the credit

for the victory. God knew that they would be blinded by their own pride

and not see God's hand in the victory. They would only see themselves as

victors and give themselves the glory. So God took what could have been a

mighty army and shrunk it to an impossible army to win an impossible


God had a plan. He took what would be impossible odds for any army, 300

against 135,000. God used man's visual fears. A battle that would be

virtually impossible to win in numbers would become a battle of great

faith. So the battle itself became a spiritual battle allowing a faithful

leader, Gideon, to lead them and for all to trust the Lord that His word

was good. God alone would receive the glory as he used man to accomplish

his purpose. His purpose being that the Israelites would not see

themselves in the victory but that they were being used by God to

accomplish his purposes; God would receive the glory.

Pressures Gideon might have felt if he did not obey and shrink his army-

Major guilt for not obeying for the rest of his life; not being able to

reap the many blessings of God; possible death.

Gideon was able to obey God fully because God showed himself to Gideon

through the fleece and again through the dream of the enemy. God gave

Gideon the confidence he needed to accomplish a impossible feat, through

God's leading.

God made himself known to Gideon more than once. Gideon listened, he

questioned, he learned, he saw God as he worked through each circumstance,

he became stronger, his faith grew, and he became a mighty warrior for

God's army.

Prov. 3:5,6- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your

own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct

your paths.

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God was letting gideon and his men that it was He and not them that saved them and not Israel themselves. He didn't want them to boast that they had saved themselves. We as Christians need to listen more to God and do as he ask and quit bragging or boasting about things we have done o and let God Lead the way for us.

The Love of God is Greater far then tongue or pen can ever tell.

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God felt Gideon's army was to big that Israel may boast that her own strength had saved her. He was to reduce the size. We like to toot our own horn( I did it). Israel would have done this instead of giving the credit to God.

Shrinking of the army size to a tiny band of 300 is essential in restoring Israel faith and allegiance. It seems to be an impossible situation. What is impossible with man is possible with God. Gideon is humble, obedient and trust God enough even when things don't make sense and appear impoissible from the human eye. GOD HAD TO BE IN CONTROL! HE STILL IS IN CONTROL!

Gideon is afraid of attacking with a few men of 300 against a mighty army of 130,000. Gideon heard the dream(Judges 7:13-15) after he sneaked into the enemy camp. How encouraging! God always strengthen us for the job. As Jesus told Peter, "Satan's desire to sift you like wheat, but I prayed for you that your faith will not fail." How great it is to know that Jesus is praying for us

in our downfalls. There is always hope in what seems like an impossible situation.

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blondesmiley.gifThe answers to these questions are obvious: God had to prove to his disbelieving people that HE is in control, that only through HIM would they have victory. How difficult it must have been for Gideon to trust Him that far.

I have had similar situations (if you'll indulge me...give me 5 minutes and I'll tell you my life story :P ) At this time last year my husband was being released from his temporary active duty position with the Army (after being activated for the 9/11/01 attacks), and was looking to go back to a job he was dissatisfied with. We had just started a home business, and were just beginning to see some results from it. It was clear that God wanted my husband to stay home, but it was a real leap of faith for us (prior to 11/01 we had both worked full time until our last baby was born and I quit to stay home). We were used to the steady paychecks, and were really struggling with the decision. But, God has shown us this past year that we will survive no matter what is thrown our way, that through Him and His promises we will overcome all the obstacles that we keep finding (it's like walking through the living room in the dark and purposely heading toward the coffee table to ram your shins. The obstacle is there, we know it, and it's through our stubborness that we head in its direction!). I have learned when I trust Him that He is ALWAYS FAITHFUL WITH HIS PROMISES!!!

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God told Gideon the army was to big,to many men!If they went in and fought with all those men,and won the battle,they would have boasted on themselves."You know how people get all puffed up,wanting to take credit for some good event or idea they had a part in,bragging what <THEY> did.God could not allow Israel to take the credit for the victory,or it would restore their disastrours pattern of depending upon them selves and failing to rely upon their true God.God deserves all praises and the victory over any battle or bad circumstances in our life that only God can lead us through!Sure Gideon had a lot of pressures,he felt outwardly foolish,and his thoughts were swaying in his mind"Just 300 Men?? :unsure: ,but Gideon obeyed God anyway,trusting God,because of Gods promise to him.Remember!God gave Gideon a <SURE SIGN>with the fleece.No matter how things looked to Gideon,he had Gods promise to him.As for us,we read the Holy Word in the bible:,in that bible there are many promises from God to us.So no matter what we think or how foolish we feel,we obey God and trust Him,and give God all the praise,honor and glory in his victory for what God does for us.

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My first thought if I'd been Gideon would have been, Oh my! What if I send all but 300 of these warriors home and we are defeated? How will I ever face the people again?

I can't help but believe this thought crossed Gideon's mind also. But Gideon rejected that thought and faith won. He decided to believe God that he would be faithful to deliver them.

I think he may have even gone a step beyond that. He may have decided that even if, for some reason he couldn't comprehend, God chose not to deliver them, he would still trust God. He had peace that this whole situation was in the hands of a powerful and caring God no matter what the outcome.

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1 God says the army is too large. He wants the army so small that only He will get the glory for the victory. Otherwise the army and Israel will be able to say they delivered themselves.

2 Only by a miraculous deliverance would the faith of the people be renewed.

3 Gideon would feel the pressure of looking foolish, being embarrassed in front of everyone. He would feel the pressure of being a wise leader.

4 Gideon had heard God and seen God prove Himself.

So he trusted and obeyed God.


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God felt the army was too large (32,000) because when they captured the Midianites, Gideon and his army may have felt inclined to believe they had captured the Midianites due to their own size and capabilities and not according to God's power. It is imperative for Israel to know that God has not forsaken them, therefore God must shrink the army so Israel knows HE is the one responsible for delivering them from the Midianites and others. Their faith and allegiance must be to God, not Gideon and his army. The pressure of performance and possible failure and extreme responsibility would be some of the pressures felt by Gideon, had he NOT obeyed. Gideon obeyed fully when God gave him reassurance when he sent him to overhear the Midianites speak of being captured by Gideon and his small army.

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God believed that if the Israelites defeated the enemy with a large army that they would take credit for the victory themselves. They would think that they defeated the enemy by numbers alone.

By paring Gideon's army down to a mere 300 men Gideon would have to place his faith in God alone whether than the size and strength of his army.

As a new leader Gideon might be reluctant to release all his men with the exception of the 300. However, Gideon has learned that God is directing him. The test with the fleece has shown him this. Gideon has also learned to obey God even when he doesn't understand the reason for God's command.

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God felt that with the large army that Gideon had assembled a victory would lead the Israelites to think that they had won it with their own strength and not through God's help. So God asked Gideon to pare his army down to 300 men. With this small number any victory would obviously not be possible without God's intervention. As a new leader Gideon would have to face the ridicule of his men when he reduced the size of his army as this would by human standards be against norms of conventional tactics. However Gideon had learnt to trust God for Had not God answered his wish for a minor miracle in the fleece?His faith in God had grown to such an extent that he was now willing to follow God's instructions even though by doing so. it exposed him to the ridicule of his soldiers

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