The few ∙
Don’t be afraid and don’t panic because of this huge army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s. – 2 Chronicles 20:15
2 The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.”
3 “Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight.
4 But the LORD told Gideon, “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not.”
5 When Gideon took his warriors down to the water, the LORD told him, “Divide the men into two groups. In one group put all those who cup water in their hands and lap it up with their tongues like dogs. In the other group put all those who kneel down and drink with their mouths in the stream.”
6 Only 300 of the men drank from their hands. All the others got down on their knees and drank with their mouths in the stream.
7 The LORD told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.”
During the battle of Britain, Germany’s failure to destroy Britain’s air defenses and to force an armistice was the first major German defeat in World War II and a crucial turning point in the conflict.
The British aircraft industry produced about 180 to 300 first-line fighters and 140 first-line bombers a month. Hermann Goring projected that the present strength of the RAF would fall, and this decline would be aggravated by the continued decrease in production. He anticipated that RAF would run out of frontline fighters. The Luftwaffe believed it was weakening Fighter Command at three times the actual attrition rate.
The reports of downed RAF aircraft were consistently exaggerated. This created somewhat of a euphoric atmosphere. Quick victory seemed certain. This simply was not the case. The Luftwaffe leadership became increasingly separated from reality. Repeatedly, the leadership asserted Fighter Command’s strength diminish and collapse. But they soon discovered that the RAF were able to send up defensive formations at will.
August 5 was coined “The Greatest Day” when the Luftwaffe mounted the largest number of raids of the entire air offensive. Of 115 bombers and 35 fighters sent, 75 planes were destroyed, and many others were damaged beyond repair.
During the entire Battle of Britain, the British lost 1537 planes while the Germans lost 1887 planes.
Winston Churchill brilliantly summed up the battle for all time, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Pilots who fought in the battle have been known as “The Few” ever since.
We often find ourselves up against enormous and powerful forces over which we by ourselves do not stand a chance. But it is exactly at times like that when the Father fights the battle on our behalf. When there is a disparity of forces, and the Father is on our side, success is certain. “The assurance of God’s presence was more than a theological statement; it was to be a source of strength” (Thompson).
When the Father fights the battle, little else is required except our faithfulness. “When we align ourselves with God and His will, the Lord takes the battle out of our hands and places it in His. Big enemies become small when God leads the charge” (Stanley). Sometimes the Father uses 300 (Judges 7:2-7) other times He uses only one (Exodus 14; 1 Samuel 17:1-58).
REFLECT & PRAY
“One and God make a majority” (Frederick Douglass).
Father teach us to pray and encourage us to be strong and courageous knowing that the final outcome is in Your hands.
How does the Father win His battles? He encourages His children to pray for victory. In so doing, children of the King are called upon to achieve the Father’s will on earth as it is in heaven. That is our responsibility. We are to faithfully pray that the Father’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. What other options do we have? We can do nothing, we can hope for the best, or we can pray to get what we think is best. The Scriptures do not encourage us to ask for what we want. But rather we are to pray what the Father desires.
This is how the Father teaches us to pray!
1 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”
2 And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.
3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.
4 ‘And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Sometimes the best we can do is begin to pray for what we want and allow the Holy Spirit to redirect our prayers supernaturally and mysteriously to what the Father wants. What is required is that we pray and not remain silent.
So it was with Jehoshaphat.
2 Chronicles 20:6-9
6 [Jehoshaphat] said, “O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.”
7 “Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?”
8 “They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying,
9 ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’”
Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion” (Alexander the Great).