"Less than 1 percent"

The movie Rudy tells the true tale of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, a smallish, walk-on (nonscholarship) player who tried to make the powerhouse University of Notre Dame's football team. He didn't have the size. He didn't have the athleticism. But he had the heart to make the team and even went on to play in a game!

Gideon was also a "shrimp" who didn't seem to stand a chance against the imposing Midianite army. In fact, when the angel of the Lord told him that he would lead the attack, he squealed, "How can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!" (Judges 6:15). Gideon was feeling mighty wimpy.

That's when God totally blew his mind. In the span of just six verses, God winnowed Gideon's Israelite army, already outnumbered four to one, from 32,000 men to just 300! (7:2-7, 8:10). We're talking less than 1 percent of the original number of soldiers. If he had been allowed to, Gideon would have likely bolted with the 22,000 guys who left on the first day of downscaling due to their serious case of knee-knocking fear.

Why did God mini-size the Israelite army? To keep Gideon and his guys from thinking it was all about them! (v.2). He wanted them to know that the battle would be won by His strength alone. And it was, the "half-pint" army of 300 was used by God to destroy the mammoth Midianite forces (vv.22-25). When you feel small standing before the mountainous task that God has called you to, remember these words: "[God] chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful" (1 Corinthians 1:27). His "power works best in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Follow God's lead and watch Him receive the glory when the battle is won by His strength! , Tom Felten, Our Daily Journey

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