“Then the Lord said to Gideon, ‘I am going to help your men defeat the Midianites, but you have too many men. I don’t want the Israelites to forget me and brag that they saved themselves.”
When I go shopping for clothes I’m always looking for a deal. I’ll start out by searching the clearance rack and then make my way to the sales rack. I’m not just searching for the lowest ticket price but most importantly I’m searching for quality clothing. I hate for my clothes to only last for a short period of time because of cheap fabric used to make the clothing. Sometimes the quality clothing I’m searching for may not be on the clearance or the sale racks but on the racks of a consignment shop or thrift store. When I purchase clothes I’m expecting it to last me some years to come. Quality goes a long way.
In today’s text Gideon was selected by God to deliver his people, the Israelites, from their bullies the Midianites. The Midianites tortured the Israelites for seven long years. It was so bad that the Midianites would destroy the Israelites crops, destroy their homes, and their livestock such as cattle, sheep and donkeys. The Israelites were greatly impoverished because of the Midianites.
To assist in delivering his people Gideon had an army. His army initially had approximately 32,000 men, however God told him that was too many to fight against the Midianite army. Now, the Midianite army had 135,000 men but God was calling for cutbacks. This didn’t seem like the right time to be cutting anyone back. They were already out numbered. However, God instructed Gideon to cut back because He wanted them to know that He was the one about to give them the victory and not them themselves. Sometimes God will require us to subtract people from our army in order to add quality to our lives. This is what I call adding by subtracting. The men that God wanted Gideon to subtract from his army were men that were fearful, afraid, and lazy. Imagine that. 31,700 men were sent home because they were ill equipped. Gideon’s army ended up with 300 dedicated and committed men ready to reclaim their freedom. God is not dependent upon numbers to make us victorious. Often times too many people we are connected to are dragging us down. They keep us from believing in God. They keep us from achieving our goals. They keep us tempted. God wants us to have quality connections and relationships. Quantity will never trump quality. Do you need to add quality to your life? Then subtract some things and/ or some people. Quality goes a long way. #LivingTheLife