“Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing” (Judges 8:4).
Gideon’s life is a perfect example of how God creates impossible circumstances for his servants in order to demonstrate his glory. The Lord called this shy man to lead Israel into battle against an overwhelming enemy: 100,000 Midianites compared to Israel’s army of 22,000 — which was then reduced to a special fighting unit of only 300 men. These weren’t just overwhelming odds, they bordered on the impossible. God pushed the limit — well beyond Gideon’s limit — in order to bring himself glory.
I see four great lessons for us today in Gideon’s story.
Limited resources never limit God. Our Lord has made it pretty clear: We are to be “all in” when we follow him. And that means abandoning all self-reliance — all trust in our own abilities and resources — and trusting him to supply. God often purposely limits our resources to ensure he receives all glory.
Discouragement can hinder — but never halt — God’s ultimate plan for victory. This scene is easier to understand if you put yourself in Gideon’s shoes. Sometimes our most disheartening, soul-draining, energy-sapping experiences come not on the battlefield of life, but from our own spiritual family. Gideon face discouragement from the people but he didn’t allow it to keep him from moving forward.
Grace for victory is extended to the exhausted. Even in the face of exhaustion, Gideon knew that God was about to bring victory. May the same be true of us: As we continue to trust the Lord through our own difficult circumstances, then — just as happened with Gideon — we can know God’s complete victory is coming.
God doesn’t stop at half a victory. His plan is always for our full deliverance — and sometimes that comes only in the last half hour, when we’re frustrated, tired and can’t go one more step.
The fact is, every battle we face has an eternal purpose. It isn’t just the defeat of an enemy — it’s the exaltation of Jesus. When we trust in God beyond our own capability, he provides all strength to finish the battle — and he does it in a way that brings all glory to himself.