Gideon (his story is found in Judges chapter 7) won a mighty battle, but he wasn’t always a brave warrior. As a matter of fact, he started out as kind of a coward. God helped Gideon break free from his self-doubt and find confidence to do what God told him to do. When you believe what God says about you, you can break free from self-doubt.
Gideon lived in Israel. At that time, the Israelites were being attacked by enemies. The enemies stole their food and animals. Of course, that made the Israelites very upset. Has anyone ever taken something from you? How did that make you feel? Then, you know how the Israelites felt.
The people prayed to God, and God told Gideon to help them. But Gideon wasn’t sure he could do anything. He wasn’t a soldier. He was a farmer. Gideon had a lot of self doubt, and he just couldn’t seem to break free from it.
Have you ever been told to do something that was so hard, you didn’t know how you could possibly do it? That’s exactly how Gideon felt. God gave Gideon several signs to show that He would help Gideon do the job. Gideon finally obeyed God and gathered an army of 32,000 men to go and fight. That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
The Bible says there were so many enemies they couldn’t even count them, so we don’t know how many men they had. But we know it was a lot.
Gideon trusted God and was going to obey Him. Gideon and his men camped near the enemies. As they prepared for battle, God told Gideon he had too many men to fight the enemy. (Say What God?)
God said, “You have too many men. Send some home.” So that’s just what Gideon did. Even though it seemed like a strange thing to do, Gideon obeyed. He told all the men who were afraid to fight to go home. Twenty-two thousand men went home. Now Gideon had only 10,000 men to take into battle.
Gideon might have doubted that he would win. But God wasn’t done. He told Gideon that he still had too many men. (Sounds crazy right?) So, Gideon followed God’s instruction. He led the men down to drink out of the water. Gideon watched the men drink. Some men used their hands to bring water to their mouths, lapping it as a dog does. That left Gideon with just 300 men. That wasn’t a very big army to take into battle. I think I would be a little scared. So was Gideon. It’s hard to believe God will help you when you are faced with doing something that seems impossible. But Gideon was about to realize that with God nothing is impossible.
Do you know what happened? During the night, Gideon and his men surrounded the enemy army. When Gideon’s men blew trumpets and shouted, God caused the enemy army to be so scared that they turned on each other and killed each other. The few who survived ran away. God helped Gideon win the battle with only 300 men and save the Israelites from their enemies. Even though Gideon doubted himself at first, he learned to trust God and put his confidence in God. And God helped him break free from his self-doubt. God will help you, if you will let Him!