And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped…
A company of English soldiers were in disgrace. Through some bad conduct they had for a while lost their colours, and were in trouble about it. It so happened that these men had to take part in some battle where a piece of hard fighting had to be done. One morning the men were in line. Some distance away was a hill held by the enemy which it was extremely important that the English should secure. The commander addressed his men and urged them on to the conflict which was soon to take place. He finished his brief address to them by saying, "Men, your colours are on the top of yonder hill." It was enough. Their souls were fired, and long before the day was out they had dislodged the enemy, secured the hill, wiped out the disgrace in which they had been, and won back their lost regimental colours by their bravery that day. The Church of God is engaged in war against the hosts of the world, and every member of God's Church has to take his share in the conflict, and must seek to remove the enemies of God. If we notice how Gideon and his men carried on their work for God, we may perhaps learn a few things which we may also practise with some profit.
I. WE WILL FIRST NOTICE THEIR UNITY. There were no divisions, no quarrels, no mutinies among them. They stood as they were ordered to stand. Does not this speak to us and with a loud voice? Have the hundreds of God's hosts to-day that spirit of unity which should mark all the soldiers of the Cross? Have we always obeyed orders from headquarters? If the soldiers in the ranks of the armies of the living God could only forget all party difference, and cease to contend about minute distinctions, and present a united front, the kingdom of darkness would soon receive such blows as would make it totter and reel. We have many illustrations in the history of Christianity, of what can be done by a united Church of God.
II. LET US NOW NOTICE THEIR COURAGE. Had they been Englishmen they could not have displayed more fibre and courage than was shown, In its conflict with the world the Church needs men of courage. There never was a time it more needed them than now. There are many great and pressing social and religious problems which need attention and require men of courage and faith to deal with them; and in all her work she needs men of brave hearts and true, who are not easily daunted. She wants brave officers to serve in her ranks — men of skill, piety, and courage. She wants the best sons and daughters in her ranks. She is charged with the responsibility of the salvation of the world. She has to make greater inroads into the ranks of the enemy. God is with us, and God can make us brave and bold.
III. BUT WE MUST NOW NOTICE THE FAITH OF THESE MEN. It was a victory of faith. Oh, what a theme for contemplation the victories of faith furnish! The Church needs men of faith to-day. This is an age of scepticism, of doubt, and criticism. It has become almost fashionable to talk about doubting as if it were a mark of strength and special attainment to do so. The Church wants men who live in the sunshine of strong heroic faith and power. She wants men who can, in mighty faith, march round the strongholds of sin, just as the Israelites marched around ancient Jericho. She needs men who can go with Bible in hand and win victories for God.
IV. IN CONCLUSION, WE WILL BRIEFLY NOTICE THE SUCCESS THEY EXPERIENCED. It was complete. They stood in order round the camp as they were commanded. At the given signal they raised their shouts, broke their pitchers, and flashed their torches. They stood and watched the consternation of the enemy. It was a victory which was God-given and full. The history of the Church of Christ abounds with God-given victories. The victories of the past are to be far surpassed in the future.
(C. Leach, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: It was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and its interpretation, that he worshiped; and he returned into the camp of Israel, and said, "Arise; for Yahweh has delivered the army of Midian into your hand!"