So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.”
And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water.
Then the LORD said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place.”
[Judges 7:5-7 NKJV]
We call them Gideon’s three hundred, but in reality those chosen to be in that number are God’s Three Hundred. In verse 7 the Lord says that He save ‘by the three hundred men who lapped’. Why was that? Those that got down on their knees gave all their attention to the drinking and gave no thought to keeping watch by bringing the water up to their mouths. Those that lapped were of a different mettle.
Drinking is symbolic of taking in and understanding the word of God...of being washed and cleansed by that word. These three hundred men cupped their hands, showing that they taking hold of the word, embracing the fullness of it, not just quenching a thirst, but determined to take every part of it that the Lord reveals. They kept watch and were alert, discerning the times and the lateness of the hour; watching for the prophetic visions; not just asking, but seeking and knocking on the door to determine the Lord's will for the moment.
But the picture we see is, that it is not enough just to hear and understand the word, but there is a need to be obedient to it by keeping watch while we drink, ‘lest an enemy overtake thee’. The people that the Lord is choosing are those who drink from His reservoir, filling themselves with the wisdom and truth that flows through them in the water of His word (His Holy Spirit) — and Jesus, lest we forget, is the Word — partaking of the life of Christ and keeping watch, looking ahead, alert for His Spirit; being washed clean to stand pure and holy before Him. They are those of whom James said ‘of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.’ [James 1:18 KJV]
These three hundred men – the number speaks of complete deliverance, and of victory in conflict – are those chosen of The Lord to win the war against strife and conflict, represented by the Midian spirit. And where the Midianites are, you will find that the Amalekites are not far away. Amalek represents those who look to the earth; they are valley- dwellers. They have no interest in the high places of God; faithless people who see only their own nature. Their spirit runs hand-in-hand with Midian. So we see that the battle is engaged with the forces of Midian, but tagging along are the Amalekites – just as you would expect. This is the battle that Gideon fought with his light shining in earthen vessels. “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”
PRAYER THOUGHT: Help us all, Lord. Raise us up to be like you. Raise your first fruits to be like the First of the first fruits that we may be part of your plan to establish the fullness of the harvest. Help us to be worthy of Your hand-picked company – Gideon's three hundred men; David's Mighty Men of Valour; Jesus' disciples.
Faith is praying with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.
[from ‘God’s Workmanship’ by Oswald Chambers]
GEORGE and GILL STEWART