God was choosing His army to go with Gideon who can defeat the Midianite army who were like locusts. In this post, we will explore who can be in His army.
Fearless of Satan
Judg 7:2-3 And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’ ” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.
The preliminary qualification for entering God’s army is to be fearless against the enemy who is Satan or the troubles we face. When God set this qualification, nearly 2/3 of the people who want to be in God’s army went home. God wants His people to know that the victory is from Him and not through their might. Since God had to save and the victory is from Him, many Christians never want to fight at all. Rather, they want God to fight for them while they remain in fear. These people are not qualified to be in God’s army and they cannot defeat Satan and his army.
1Sam 4:4-8 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook. Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp. So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before. Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. … (10-11) So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
Being fearless is not the only requirement. Hophni and Phinehas were fearless and what they did by bringing the ark of the covenant of God made even the enemy fear and tremble. Yet, they were killed because they didn’t seek God or follow His commandments but treated Him like their trophy.
Judg 7:4-7 But the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water.
There are two groups of people who are fearless towards the enemy. The group containing many people who drink water like a dog lapping on the water. There is a small group of people who put their hands to the mouth and drink water.
Jer 2:13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns–broken cisterns that can hold no water. … (17) Have you not brought this on yourself, In that you have forsaken the LORD your God When He led you in the way?
Dogs lap because they have incomplete cheeks and cannot suck like humans. When lapping, a dog’s tongue pulls a liquid column from the bath, and takes a bite from it1. Thus most of the water falls back while lapping. This is contrary to drinking water by putting their hand to the mouth which does not spill water back. God calls Himself as the fountain of living waters, just as Jesus mentioned the Holy Spirit as the living waters (John 7:38-39). Anyone who drinks from Him must drink without spilling it. If we spill Him while we drink Him, just as a broken cistern would spill, we forsake Him. God even calls people who drink from Him using broken cisterns which does not hold Him as evil because they forsake Him.
John 4:14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” … John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
Ps 63:1 O GOD, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.
Jesus compares drinking from the fountain of living water to seeking and believing in Him. Just as prophet Jeremiah compared fetching water with a broken cistern to forsaking God, if we lap like a dog to drink the living water from Jesus spilling Him back, we don’t seek Him or believe in Him.
The second requirement to be in God’s army is to seek Him and believe in Him. Those who lap like a dog to forsake Him cannot be in His army
There are two most important requirements to be in God’s army. The first requirement is to be fearless of the enemy. Only one-third of all the people who want to be in God’s army were fearless of the enemy. The second requirement is to seek Him and believe in Him. When God spoke, He need His army to obey and trust in Him fully, just like the army He chose who went to fight a huge army of Midianites without even using a sword (Judg 7:16).
1 Pm, Reis. “From the Cover: Dogs lap using acceleration-driven open pumping.” PubMed Central (PMC), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4703018/. Accessed 17 Jan. 2018.