300, israel-style

Gideon, ever heard of him? Sometime before David was king, but after Moses splitted Red Sea, angel of God visited Gideon and said, "Save Israel from the hand of the Midianites." Israelites had sought refuge to the mountains because Midianites opressed them. For years, after Israel had sown some seeds, the Midianites came and destroyed the growth. In fact, when the angel came, Gideon was camouflaging a winepress to hide it from the Midianites.

First sign of inferiority complex that kept occuring throughout his story was shown in his answer: "Werewith shall I save Israel?" He said he was the least in his family, and his family is poor in his tribe. Probably from the corner of his eye he saw his father's grove next to an altar for Baal and thought (but didn't say), 'Why not choose someone whose whole family worship God?'

Maybe God caught his glance. "Cut down that grove!"

I almost can hear Gideon murmured from four-digits years ago: 'My father's soooo gonna kill me...'

He cut the grove down nonetheless. Thankfully his father didn't desire to kill him afterwards. But his fellow citizens did. Whole town marched to his house, demanding that he be killed.


In my life I have made mistakes. And sometimes they were too grave a question popped up in my head 'What have I done?' And the question repeated itself over and over again. I wonder did the same question rolled over Gideon's one. How many people are in his city? Surabaya has more than 3 million people as per 2012. Even if Gideon didn't have that question initially, eventually he would. Perhaps not from himself. It's possible that after seeing all those people, his family members chanted it toward him like a mantra: "What have you done-what have you done-what have you done. What have you done-what have you done-what have you done..."

Don't worry, he slipped from this unscathed. But his relief was short-lived. The Midianites took their allies, the Amalekites and people from the east to made camp on Jezreel Valley, preparing to wage war against Israel. I don't know how Gideon went from a criminal to a hero suddenly, maybe because of his lineage. He was recruiting men in respond to the threat.

Modern Jizreel Valley is said to be 380 square kilometers. The Bible said they filled the land, their amount was enourmous, like grasshoppers on crops. Let me repeat the words for you: they filled the land approx. 380 square kilometres. Their amount was enourmous. Their amount was like grasshoppers on crops. The Bible also stated that the amount of their camels was uncountable, like sand on beaches.

And amount of people Gideon could recruit? 32 thousands. Aand... the angel of God came and told Gideon to lessen that amount. At this point I wonder if Gideon was raised strictly, for he wasn't foul-mouthing when he heard what the angel said. The amount of his people was already so tiny compared to the enemy!

Nonetheless he ordered those who felt afraid to go home. He was left with only ten thousand people. At this point it wouldn't surprise me if some people in his army doubted Gideon's sanity. "Did you hear? He once chopped down his father's grove." 'No way! The one with altar for Baal?' "Yes he did! My cousin's friend was his uncle! Scared the whole family when an angry mob came to their house!" 'Was he out of his good mind? Oh I know, he was out of his mind when he chopped down Baal's grove, he is out of his mind again now! Lessening the amount of our army? We are doomed!'

Or intentions. "After the number's so small, I think he intends to run away!" 'That can be the case! Because he was afraid to admit that we couldn't win! We are doomed!'

Or leadership skills. "Guy's motivational speech backfired huh? Intended to inspire our army but left with less than half?" 'We are doomed!'

Aaand... the angel came again. Out of all words that can be uttered, he said that Gideon's men were still too many.

XD Help, I can't breathe.

Gideon did not utter a bad word. Gotta admire his self control, really! He lessened his men to 300 only.

Later, only after two obedient responses to God's commands, Gideon had it that his enemy killed each other in confusion that came from God. Long story short, Gideon won the war.