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From Eternity Past

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    Only Three Hundred Left

    Gideon obeyed the Lord's direction, and with a heavy heart saw more than two thirds of his force depart for their homes. Again the word of the Lord came to him: “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.”EP 396.2

    The people were led down to the waterside, expecting to make an immediate advance upon the enemy. A few hastily took a little water in the hand and sucked it up as they went on; but nearly all bowed upon their knees and leisurely drank from the surface of the stream. Those who took the water in their hands were but three hundred out of ten thousand. These were selected; all the rest were permitted to return to their homes.EP 396.3

    Those who in time of peril were intent upon supplying their own wants were not to be trusted in an emergency. The three hundred chosen men not only possessed courage and self-control, they were men of faith. They had not defiled themselves with idolatry. God could direct them, and through them He could work deliverance for Israel. God is honored not so much by great numbers as by the character of those who serve Him.EP 396.4

    The Israelites were stationed on the brow of a hill overlooking the valley where the invaders lay encamped “like locusts for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand which is upon the seashore for multitude.” Gideon trembled as he thought of the conflict of the morrow. But the Lord bade him go down to the camp of the Midianites. He would there hear something for his encouragement.EP 397.1

    Waiting in the darkness and silence, he heard a soldier relating a dream to his companion: “Lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.” The other answered in words that stirred the heart of that unseen listener: “This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.”EP 397.2

    Gideon recognized the voice of God speaking through those Midianitish strangers. Returning to the few men under his command, he said, “Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.”EP 397.3

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