And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped…
1. I learn, in the first place, from this subject, the lawfulness of Christian stratagem. You all know what strategy is in military affairs. Now I think it is high time we had this art sanctified and spiritualised. In the Church, when we are about to make a Christian assault, we send word to the opposing force when we expect to come, how many troops we have, and of course we are defeated. There are thousands of men who might be surprised into the kingdom of God. We have not sufficient tact and ingenuity in Christian work. We have in the kingdom of God to-day enough troops to conquer the whole earth for Christ if we only had skilful manoeuvring.
2. I learn from this subject also that a small part of the army of God will have to do all the hard fighting.
3. Again, I learn from this subject that God's way is different from man's, but is always the best way. If we had had the planning of that battle, we would have taken those thirty-two thousand men that originally belonged to the army, and we would have drifted them, and marched them up and down by the day, week, and month. But that is not the way. God depletes the army, and takes away all their weapons, and gives them a lamp, and a pitcher, and a trumpet, and tells them to go down and drive out the Midianites. I suppose some wiseacres were there who said, "That is not military tactics. The idea of three hundred men, unarmed, conquering such a great host of Midianites!" It was the best way. What sword, spear, or cannon ever accomplished such a victory as lamp, pitcher, and trumpet? God's way is different from man's way, but it is always best. Take, for instance, the composition of the Bible. If we had had the writing of the Bible, we would have said, "Let one man write it. If you have twenty or thirty men to write a poem, or make a statute, or write a history, or make an argument, there will be flaws and contradictions." But God says, "Let not one man do it, but forty men shall do it." And they did, differing enough to show there had been no collusion between them, but not contradicting each other on any important point. Instead of this Bible, which now I can lift in my hand — instead of the Bible that the child can carry to school — instead of the little Bible the sailor can put in his pocket when he goes to sea — if it had been left to men to write, it would have been a thousand volumes, judging from the amount of ecclesiastical controversy which has arisen. God's way is different from man's, but it is best, infinitely best. So it is in regard to the Christian life. If we had had the planning of a Christian life we would have said: "Let him have eighty years of sunshine, a fine house to live in; let his surroundings all be agreeable; let him have sound health; no trouble shadow his soul." I enjoy the prosperity of others so much I would let every man have as much money as he wants, and roses for his children's cheeks, and the fountains of gladness glancing in their large round eyes. But that is not God's way. It seems as if a man must be cut, and hit, and pounded, just in proportion as he is useful.
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
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!"