by Dr. Ed Young

God's Army: Fit Though Few
H. Edwin Young
Judges 7:1-16
August 20, 1978

My senior year in high school, 128 boys went out for the varsity basketball team. In our little town, and in our little school - that was something. And of the 128 who went out, only 12 would make the squad. And of that 12, only 5 could play at a time. So every day the coach would put on the bulletin board in the dressing room a "cut list" and we would all go down in fear and trembling - seeing if our name was posted that day. Now that is about what our scripture is about isn't it? Here is the problem. Here is Gideon, the youngest member of a small insecure, insignificant tribe - hiding down below the ground in a tunnel, a cave or a depression in the earth. He is thrashing wheat. Why is he hiding? Because for 7 years the Midianites had swept down through the valley of Jezreel and they had taken all the crops and all the animals of the Israelites, right after they had harvested them and they had taken them back to Midian. This was the pattern. The Israelites seemed to be helpless to do anything about it. Here they'd work all year. Here they'd plant, here they'd water, they'd do everything in the life of a farmer and then when they would have the harvest - here would come the Midianites. This happened year after year after year, until finally God's peculiar chosen people went underground. And they started to thrash and hide - hopeful the Midianites would not find them, and would not take away what belonged to them.

So here we have Gideon thrashing, thrashing out the wheat - you could see all the smoke, we'd call it smog, all the dust in the air and God speaks to Gideon. He says, "Gideon, thou mighty man of valor (by the way, that is humorous. Here he is hiding out, afraid, timid, refusing to do anything about the exploitation and God says) "Thou mighty man of valor." You know so many times God speaks better of us and says something better about us, than we dare say about ourselves, or ...

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