What about the warriors who went home?

th-1A few days ago I received a message from David, one of our readers, who asked a question that has been haunting me ever since. The essence of his question was this: Gideon and his 300 are great, but what about the other 99% — the 22,000 warriors who were afraid and were able to admit it, and the 9,700 who were battle-ready but sent home anyway?

Excellent question. That’s the kind of question everyone thinks about but rarely asks.

The answer is relatively simple, but the ramifications are huge. The answer is: They might have shared in the victory, but they missed all the action. They missed the growth the testing of their own faith would have produced in their lives, giving them more courage and confidence in the Lord for the next battle.

But remember, Gideon’s 300 represented not only victory, but the brokenness that is an essential part of the process of getting to that victory. That’s what the smashing of the clay pots symbolized. God gives us victory through our own weaknesses and brokenness, not our strengths. He rewards the vulnerable. Our own strengths get in the way. Gideon’s 300 learned that, making them more eager to be used for the next challenge.

Gideon’s percentages are not that much different from the ones George Barna found in the church today (Maximum Faith by George Barna). In his research he found so many Christians barely getting off the ground in terms of spiritual transformation, and so few recognizing the value and work that brokenness can make in that transformation. Indeed brokenness seems to be the turning point of maturity for Christians and few there be that find it. Brokenness enables us to get beyond ourselves and recognize our need for God’s complete, continuing and uninterrupted intervention in our life. For us to become the people God intends us to be, brokenness is not an option; it is a necessity.

“An individual cannot transform himself, nor can a church transform a person. That work can only be done by God, through the empowerment and direction of the Holy Spirit. But God is eager to partner with those who will cooperate with Him. Understanding what God seeks to do in our lives is a critical step toward not becoming seduced and sidetracked by mere religious activity. The richness of the journey is found in the experience of progressing through the challenges of the process in the company of God.” (Barna)

God wants us jumping into life in spite of our fears and misgivings. He wants us smashing our clay pots (not putting any confidence in ourselves) and stepping out in His power. He’s going to meet us in battle just as he met Gideon’s 300. We show up in our own brokenness, with the light of Christ shining through us, and God can do anything. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to What about the warriors who went home?

  1. Bill in KCK says:

    I definitely believe that God can do everything through those that have put him first in their lives. I have heard long ago that He can do more with one that is 100% committed to Him than can be accomplished with a dozen that are 90% committed. I am not now and may never be, but I would like to be one that is 100% committed to God but that seems to be so hard and almost unobtainable. I am so grateful for the few that have been 100% down through the centuries to preserve and keep His teachings alive so that it is still available for me in my time on earth.

  2. Andrew P. says:

    John, I like this statement: “Indeed brokenness seems to be the turning point of maturity for Christians and few there be that find it. Brokenness enables us to get beyond ourselves and recognize our need for God’s complete, continuing and uninterrupted intervention in our life. For us to become the people God intends us to be, brokenness is not an option; it is a necessity.”

    I would just add two more words, to make the last sentence read like this: “For us to become the people God intends us to be, RECOGNIZING OUR brokenness is not an option; it is a necessity.”

    We’re all broken. It’s just that some of us don’t seem to know it.

  3. Camille says:

    John, Your comments about brokenness really hit home for me. I struggle with pride and a real fear of being broken and everyone seeing that. Yet, this is the definition of being a Christian, to me. Not to judge others behavior but to look inward and let God work in my life to let Christ shine.

  4. One issue I wrestle with – and a predicament I think many Christians probably find themselves personally familiar with – is the “9,700 who were battle-ready but sent home anyway”.
    These men were denied “sharing the victory” and growing in “the testing of their own faith” simply because they drank water from the stream like a dog?
    Forgive me, but that sounds rather harsh.
    While I do not dispute God’s miraculous intent for the 300, I do question the (implied) conclusion that the 9,700 others missed out on God’s blessings because of their timidity and lack of faith or confidence in God and His appointed leader.
    Surely those men knew the “odds” were against them – especially after the 12,000 other soldiers went home – but, still, they chose to stick with Gideon (and God) until they were abruptly dismissed and sent home for no apparent reason other than they stuck their faces into the waters of the stream; surely not the smartest tactic, as pointed out in an earlier Catch, but certainly not enough to be branded as cowards or infidels.
    Perhaps there was no other blessing for them other than living in relative peace for the remainder of Gideon’s lifetime… but perhaps also – remembering their association with the 300 – some of them went on to prove themselves as God’s valuable servants and won certain victories in ways that were never recorded – and helped preserve that peace in Israel…

    • drewdsnider says:

      That’s a really good point. In this instance, God needed the best and brightest and most adept *for the task at hand*, which didn’t really reflect badly on them: it just meant they didn’t make the starting lineup for that particular match. To pull off the ruse with the lanterns and horns, God needed people who were strong, smart, obedient, and were not liable to put themselves at risk — as indicated by the method of drinking water. But God likely had other plans for them. I was involved with a building project that God had clearly mandated, but as the “front man,” as it were: if I’d gone near it with so much as a paint rag, it could have gone sideways; but God called and anointed others to do the actual building.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s