The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites to their tents but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others. Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley. – Judges 7:7-8
Most people like to cheer for the underdog. We like to see someone prevail against overwhelming odds and adversity. However, it’s usually a lot more fun to cheer for the underdog than to be the underdog. This is especially true when it comes to life and death matters, like fighting cancer, or going into war.
The Israelite army was the underdog to begin with, outnumbered 135,000 to 32,000. Then after the Lord told Gideon to send home those who trembled with fear and to keep only those who lapped water with their hands, it was 135,000 to 300. That’s 450 Midianite soldiers to each Israelite! Impossible odds in an era of hand-to-hand combat. But the Lord gave his people the victory!
So why did God make it seem so impossible? He was making sure that the Israelites would not boast in their own strength or think that the victory came by their own planning or power. When it comes to our salvation, God wants us to recognize the same thing. He has done it all. We can do nothing!
Spiritually, each one of us was the most unlikely underdog imaginable. Not only were we separated from God at birth, but we were also blinded by unbelief. On our own we could not even begin to make the first move toward God, nor did we want to. But God did the impossible by sending his Spirit through his Word to lead us to love and trust in his Son as our Savior from sin.
The victory is the Lord’s! Therefore, instead of boasting of our own strength or righteousness, we rely on God our Savior and praise him for his gift of righteousness.