Gideon sought to live a quiet life, minding his own business and doing what he could to help his family amidst the devastation and heartache around them. Then one day an angel comes to him and says:
"The Lord is with you, mighty warrior."
"Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
Still not convinced the angel has the right guy, Gideon puts God through a series of tests. Gideon heard what God told him, but he doubts it. Does God really mean what he just told me? Am I really a mighty warrior and does He really want me to go and fight the Midianties and save this whole lot of people? Who me? Who does God think I am? Some super hero?
"Hey guys, God told me we are to stand up to the Midianites. I know they've been beating us up for seven years now, but enough is enough. God says to stand up and fight back. I know I'm not a trained general or commander, but follow me into battle. God has assured me we will win."
Gideon's great speech recruited 32,000 men to come and fight the Midianites. But before going to battle, God speaks again. He tells Gideon he has too many men. Too many men, really God? Are you sure about that?
At this point Gideon is on autopilot. He's heard God speak, he has tested God and now he is listening and just obeying. He knows it's not going to make sense--the whole thing seems absurd. I mean really, after seven years of oppression and being malnourished, why in the world would Gideon's people think they can stand up against the Midianite army of 135,000 trained soldiers? Clearly, no one in their right mind.
Now Gideon is left with a small, malnourished army of 10,000 men to fight the 135,000 Midianites. Gideon was not a math nerd, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out those odds--they aren't good! But like I said, Gideon stopped trying to make sense of the whole thing.
Just when he thought they were ready for battle, Gideon hears God again say:
"You still have too many men!!! Send some home."
32,000 - 22,000 = 10,000
10,000 - 9,700 = 300
300 men + Gideon, so 301 (every man counts, right!) men remain to fight an army of 135,000. Gideon is thinking, "This is going to be the world's shortest battle. I'm going to go down in the history books for leading 300 men to their demise. And when I'm gone, they will probably say I suffered from sort of mental illness--maybe insanity."
Not so fast Mr. Smart Guy. See the problem is when God is involved, it always tips the scales. God doesn't work the way humans work. He doesn't think the way humans think.
Gideon and his 300 men went into battle with God leading their charge. They defeated the 135,000 Midianite army and returned peace to the land for forty years following.
"And that is the story of how the people of Israel defeated the Midianites who never recovered. Throughout the rest of Gideon’s lifetime—about forty years—there was peace in the land." (Judges 8:28)
Yep it's the original tale of the 300. You can read the whole thing here; it's in Judges chapters 6-8.
Let's face it, we love seeing the super-natural in action. The odds are stacked against them, but they overcome. They succeed. They fight. They win. They conquer.
Just like in the Bible's Old Testament account of Gideon and the Midianites--the odds were stacked against him and his men, yet they heeded the voice of God, not the voice of "reason." Notice in each of the underdog situations, they don't listen to the voice of "reason." The voice of "reason" says:
Are you crazy?
What are you thinking?
You need to sleep on this?
This isn't logical.
This has never been done before.
No one will follow you.
It's not worth it.
You have too few men.
You have too many men.
You don't have enough supplies.
You don't know enough.
What will people think?
...and on and on and on we can go with this list.
So what in your life feels insurmountable? Where does it feel like the scales are tipped against you? What in your life feels like the Midianite army of 135,000? It looks and feels impossible, BUT remember, God is the "underdog" God. He loves helping the down and out--the one who's cards are stacked against them.
He turns ordinary into EXTRAordinary.
He turns impossible into I'M POSSIBLE.
He's the God of the SUPER-natural.