And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped…
I. THE BRAVE COMPANY WITH WHICH HE ATTACKED THE FOE.
II. THE BATTLE-CRY OF GIDEON AND HIS GALLANT THREE HUNDRED.
1. The first secret of their strength was that they all realised that the battle they had to fight was not their own, but God's. A man may fight very hard for himself, yet there is a point at which heroism inspired by self-interest fails; but let it be inspired by the love of another, and let that love be centred in an object worthy of the greatest daring, and there you will find a courage which is simply transcendent and irresistible. Look at the men who have wrought the greatest deeds on earth, and you will find that the first thing they emphasised was just this, "We are not come out in our own cause and our own strength, but God's." There would not be sufficient inspiration in any other cause to enable them to meet such overwhelming odds as those which they met with unfaltering step, and at length overcame.
2. As the battle was the Lord's, so the weapons were His: "The sword of the Lord." You notice how Paul emphasises the same truth — "Put on the whole armour of God"; and again, "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges?" If we are to be God's soldiers we must be armed with His weapons. A young man enlists in the army; there is a sword given to him; it is not a sword he has had made for himself, but one that has been submitted to certain tests, though, alas! they have been more imaginary than real occasionally. It is the Queen's sword, and as such it is her will that it shall be so made as to be worthy of the mettle of every soldier who will wield it and of the empire that supplies it. The soldier is not allowed to risk his life by getting his village blacksmith to make one for him. There must be the stamp of the Government upon it. The battle is the Queen's and the sword is the Queen's; and when the soldier gets that sword he feels that the whole British Empire has staked its credit largely upon the quality of that sword, as well as the courage of the man who has accepted it. The fact that the Queen supplies the sword, and that it represents the power and the righteousness of the country whom he serves, adds vigour to his arm and determination to his assault. So is it with us. We, as the soldiers of Christ, have the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and, thank God, this has never snapped yet in our hands.
3. In a glorious sense Gideon was joint possessor with the Lord of the sword he wielded: "The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon." There was no blasphemy in this cry; it was a humble recognition of the fact that God had taken Gideon into His service, and into joint possession of the sword with which Gideon fought. Once again, referring to the ordinary soldier, you ask him, "Whose sword is that?" He replies, "It is mine." Yet he never made it, and never purchased it. You say to him, "Nay, but it is the Queen's sword." He replies, "The Queen gave it me." You add, "Then it is yours." "Yes, the Queen's — and mine"; and it is in that conjunction, "and," which joins the Queen to the poor soldier, that we find the secret of his prowess on the battlefield. Just so here, "The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon," was the cry which imparted more than human strength to Gideon and his soldiers. God's warriors have to fight with the world and its evil. The sword is the Lord's, but it is also ours. It is given us so that we may make the best use of it, and that every man who has enlisted in Christ's army can say in the same breath, "It is God's battle and mine."
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!"