The Process of Elimination
And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. ~Judges 7:4
Has anyone ever told you that you have “too much” or “too many?” Too many implies of more than necessary or more than is required. The Israelites were oppressed by the Midianites, who ravaged the land, crops, and food supply. One hundred thousand Midianites assembled to fight with Israel. Gideon blew a trumpet, and men from the tribes of Manasseh, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher joined him. Gideon had 32,000 men who came to fight. However, God told him that the people were yet too many.
We see the sovereign critique.
Twice, God told Gideon that the people were too many. Even though Israel was outnumbered three-to-one, they still had too many in the eyes of God. God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. What is it that we have too many of? We have too many opinions, and not enough obedience. We have too many who quit, and not enough enlisting. We have too many on the sideline, and not enough participating. We have too many spectators, and not enough serving. We have too many playing, and not enough praying. We have too many who are in business, and not enough who mean business for Jesus. We have too many on the wrong side of the issues, and not enough on the right side of the issues. We have too many who see the problem, and not enough who want to be part of the solution. God said that the people are yet too many!
We see the scriptural criteria.
God told Gideon to let those who were fearful go home. When he did, 22,000 immediately left. Then He told him to test the remaining 10,000 at the water. The test involved how they drank the water. After the test of the water was done, 31,700 of the men did not meet God’s qualifications. Gideon was left with 300 men. From a secular viewpoint, Gideon and his 300 men were losers. However, God demonstrated the principle that little is much when God is in it. First, God uses the feeble. God is more attracted to our weakness than He is to our strength. Don’t let your weakness, disability, or little keep you from doing God’s work. Second, God uses the few. God used Moses to overcome Egypt and lead the Jews out of captivity. God used Elijah to defeat 800 pagan prophets on Mt. Carmel. God used five barley loaves and two little fishes to feed over 5,000 men, women, and children. God used Gideon and his 300 to topple 100,000 Midianites. Third, God uses faith. Gideon did not argue with God about His process of elimination. He learned that God can be trusted in all things. Gideon had faith that the few men he had with a trumpet in one hand and a pitcher in the other hand would get the job done. God has proven criteria for getting His work done that we must follow.
We see successful credibility.
Gideon single-handedly defeated the Midianites. It was a decisive victory. First, his victory proved that God’s Word can be trusted. Second, his victory proved that God fights our battles for us. Third, his victory proved that God uses whatever is completely yielded to Him. A man told D.L. Moody, “The world has yet to see what God can do with one man wholly surrendered to Him.” Moody became that man, and God used him to shake three continents with the gospel.
The process of elimination demands that we get rid of our “too many,” and have faith in God alone. What do you have too many of that needs to be forsaken?
Have a surrendered God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Samuel 9-12