In time, Israel again turned away from Jehovah and began to worship false gods. For seven years, the Midianites stole the Israelites’ animals and destroyed their crops. To escape from the Midianites, the Israelites hid in caves and in the mountains. They begged Jehovah to save them. So Jehovah sent an angel to a young man named Gideon. The angel said: ‘Jehovah has chosen you to be a mighty warrior.’ Gideon asked: ‘How can I save Israel? I am nothing.’
How would Gideon know that Jehovah had chosen him? He put a piece of wool on the ground and said to Jehovah: ‘In the morning, if the wool is wet from the dew but the ground is dry, I will know that you want me to save Israel.’ The next morning, the wool was soaking wet and the ground was dry! But then Gideon asked that the next morning the wool be dry and the ground wet. When that happened, Gideon was finally convinced that Jehovah had chosen him. He gathered his soldiers to fight the Midianites.
Jehovah told Gideon: ‘I will give the Israelites victory. But because you have so many soldiers, you might think that you won the battle by yourselves. Tell anyone who is afraid that he should go home.’ So 22,000 soldiers went home, and 10,000 remained. Jehovah then said: ‘There are still too many soldiers. Bring them to the stream, and tell them to drink the water. Keep with you only those who watch out for the enemy while they drink.’ Only 300 of the men stayed alert while they drank. Jehovah promised that these few men would conquer the 135,000 Midianite soldiers.
During that night, Jehovah told Gideon: ‘Now is the time to attack the Midianites!’ Gideon gave his men horns and large jars with torches hidden inside. He told them: ‘Watch me, and do exactly what I do.’ Gideon blew his horn, smashed his jar, waved his torch, and shouted: ‘The sword of Jehovah and of Gideon!’ All of his 300 men did the same. The Midianites were terrified and ran wildly in all directions. In the chaos, they began to attack one another. Once again, Jehovah helped the Israelites conquer their enemies.
“So that the power beyond what is normal may be God’s and not from us.”—2 Corinthians 4:7