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By Barry D. Ham Ph.D.
"So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, 'Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.'" Judges 7:5
Would you ever take on an army of 100,000 with only 300 men? Sound preposterous? I agree. However, this is exactly what happened with Gideon. It was bad enough that he began with 10,000 against 100,000, but this was too many men according to God. He would not allow Gideon to fight with this many soldiers, because the temptation would still remain to believe that it was the strength of his army that won the victory. God told Gideon to pare down his army to a mere 300. This would ensure that God would receive total credit for the victory. This is a law in the Kingdom of God. All glory must go to Him. "Announce now to the people, 'Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.' So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained" (Judges 7:3).
Now there are 10,000 men left but that was still too many. God gave Gideon an interesting selection method for the 300 as he took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink" (Judg. 7:5b). What was the significance of this? Those soldiers who lapped water like a dog were soldiers who were more aware of the enemy around them compared to those who kneeled to drink. The lappers were men who were on constant guard to the danger around them, keeping their eyes up and looking about them. The others could be easily picked off.
If you and I are going to be one of God's elite, we must be battle ready. We must be sensitive to the spiritual dangers around us. We must be trained to go about our business while, at the same time, discern when the enemy of our souls is prowling about seeking to destroy us. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Beware of the spiritual dangers around you.
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