And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said to him, Arise, get you down to the host; for I have delivered it into your hand.…
All through this drama the spirit of Gideon was being trained for a decisive service. His faith had been tried to the utmost. Alone of all that host had he borne the responsibility of reducing it to 300 men. God's influence upon Gideon was from beginning to end moral and spiritual.
I. GOD JUSTIFIES HIS WAYS TO THOSE WHO PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM. It was a grace that this additional sign should be given. The patience and faith of the servant of God are recognised by a spiritual reward. The deep harmony, hitherto unsuspected, of the steps he had taken at the Divine instance with the process going on and assisted by God's influence in the minds of his enemies must have, when combined with the circumstances, - the still night, the darkness, the vast host in whose dangerous neighbourhood he lay, - produced a profound impression upon his mind. In such a revelation there is communion and spiritual rapture. It was a reward for all he had passed through. The wisdom of everything was plain. There are times like this in every true life. They come unexpectedly, as a grace from our heavenly Father. He leads us into his counsels, and confirms us. Obedience leads on to knowledge,
II. SUGGESTION IS GIVEN HOW TO PERFECT OUR SERVICE. In every saint's life there is something wanting - an indefinite incompleteness and crudity. Such revelations and providences remove this. Their practical utility is evident. Here were several matters made known to Gideon he had not probably dreamt of.
1. The carelessness of the watch, arising probably from the notion that Israel had disagreed and dispersed.
2. The liability of an army so composed, etc., to panic.
3. The influence of his own name (the use he made of this we know by the cry).
4. The secret fear in the hearts of his adversaries.
III. IT IS BY THE MORAL INFLUENCE OF GOD'S PEOPLE THE WORLD IS OVERCOME. Christians are too much afraid of the world. Fear not, says the Master, for I have overcome the world. Vivid realisations of this are sometimes afforded us. The whole stress of attention ought therefore to be laid upon character, obedience to God's will, and submission to his leadership. Though few and weak, the "little flock" will receive the kingdom. It is Christ in us of whom the wicked and the demons are afraid. Of what consequence all their multitude and array? Secretly the world respects and fears the self-denial and faith of Christians.
IV. A GRACIOUS REVELATION LIKE THIS HAS TO BE RECOGNISED ADORINGLY AND BY IMMEDIATE PRACTICAL OBEDIENCE. Gideon "worshipped" Jehovah. It was a time when every obstacle had been removed, and his way was clearly revealed. He could now sympathise with God and admire his consummate wisdom. For himself too he must have felt grateful. God was better to him than he had hoped. Victory was potentially his. No wonder that his heart poured itself forth in such unrestrained and adoring emotion. But the lesson of the sign was not lost. Practical advantage was at once taken of it. He "returned unto the host of Israel, and said, Arise," etc. Do not allow God's gracious revelations in our lives to be a dead letter. Act upon them, that our lives may be brought into subjection and harmony with his will. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.