(Judges 8:4 NLT) 4 Gideon then crossed the Jordan River with his 300 men, and though exhausted, they continued to chase the enemy.
The Old Testament story of Gideon is very familiar and provides many lessons for the Christian. Trust, self-confidence, sin, calling, anointing, purpose; all are common themes derived from the accounting of this story. There is also another theme that is not often discussed. It is the need to be persistent.
We live in “right now” society that has raised our expectation for immediate results. I was watching a news report just a few days ago that announced Amazon’s launch of a same-day delivery service in many larger cities. We have the capability of placing an order via the internet to places like Sam’s Club that provide same-day pickup, and in some cases next-day delivery. Even groceries can now be ordered by phone and delivered right to our doorstep.
God promised a victory. However, He did not tell Gideon how daunting the task would be until after the assignment was accepted. Gideon and his three hundred men implemented the divine strategy that caused the enemy to become so confused that they ran away in every possible direction. Can you image the thoughts that went through their minds as they watched the enemy scurrying away in panic? What if Gideon decided that since the enemy was retreating anyway, we’ll just let them run? He knew they had to strike while the iron was hot!
Gideon had to walk it out even though the victory was secured by God’s promise. At one point, he sent for reinforcements, who became irritated and wanted to argue over his delayed request for help. All the while, the enemy was getting away. It was as though he was fighting two battles simultaneously; one with his own allies, and the other with the Midianites. Have you ever been there?
Gideon could have become frustrated and returned home before finalizing the pursuit. He could have said, “God, I gave it my best shot but the Midianites got away.” Instead, we read, “Though they were exhausted, they continued to chase the enemy.” Now, that is persistence!
I want to encourage you to stay the course! Sometimes, we become satisfied with momentary peace. The enemy relents for a while and we are just thankful for a time to catch our breath. Had Gideon not pursued the Midianites and finished the job, they could have regrouped and relaunched an attack later. They would have been given the opportunity to focus on a new battle plan to be used in the future. But, by finishing them off, Gideon removed the immediate threat and repositioned Israel for prosperity!
Exhausted? Continue On!
PRAYER: Father, help me to not be weary in well doing. I don’t want to faint in the heat of the battle. Give me strength to persist until the battle is complete! Amen.