And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped…
I. THE COMPANIES ENGAGED. Happy is he who is numbered among the three hundred. Be it so that he is in the minority. Many have forsaken him, more are against him. But he is invincible for all that, as long as he does battle with but one weapon, "The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon."
II. THE TRUMPET'S BLAST. Never did means appear more contemptible than those employed by Gideon. Thus the Lord teaches us that means are weak or strong just according to His appointment. Weak means are strong, powerful, and all-prevailing, when He ordains the end to be fulfilled by them. When God blesses, the worm Jacob can lift up his head, and thresh the mountains. But the mightiest instruments are naught without His blessing. Now, we have here, in the trumpet's blast, the pitchers broken, and the lamps held forth, striking and appropriate emblems of the preaching of the gospel. They are fit emblems of the weakness of the instrument and of the power of its effects. The preaching of the everlasting gospel is as the blowing of Gideon's trumpets. How apparently inadequate the means to the end! How weak, how foolish! "Men must be fanatics to suppose that men's evil passions will be subdued, that the love of sin will be uprooted, that their affections will ever be turned heavenward, by preaching nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Human nature," says the world, "needs something different. If you wish to convert the heathen, civilise them first, and then preach the gospel to them." But let us turn from man to God. He who made the trumpet, knew full well its power. He would not put the trumpet into our hands and bid us blow if the breath of His power were not ready to go forth with the blast. The dead in trespasses and sins hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear do live, and live for ever. Whilst uncertain sounds, a gospel which is not the gospel, settle men in their sins, and cause sport to devils, the clear blast of this trumpet shakes the infernal kingdom to its centre, spreads jubilee among the slaves of earth, and awakens joy in the presence of angels. We pause to ask, have these gladsome notes sounded in your ears in the dead night of your soul? Have you been awakened by the loud blasts of the gospel trumpet?
III. THE PITCHERS BROKEN. Earthen pitchers seemed to be of all things the most absurd to fight with. The three companies might do some execution were they fully equipped. Trumpets might alarm and terrify, but what could pitchers do? How astonished must have been these three hundred men when Gideon said, "Arm yourselves with pitchers"! The result proved the efficiency of these contemptible instruments. They did what no sword, no battle-axe, no spear could do. They held the lights, they contained the lamps. They were nothing in themselves, but they were everything to the enterprise. Now, we have in these pitchers a striking emblem of the ministers of the gospel. They are earthen vessels, carrying the lamp of life. We ask, then — and does not the value of your never-dying interests compel us to ask you? — have you seen this light? have you been guided by that lamp? Has it shone into your mind, and given you the saving knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ? Has it been the power of God unto your salvation?
(G. A. Rogers, M. A.).
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!"