Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod…
1. Nearly everything great in this world has been effected by a few men, or, perhaps, a single man, who believed in it when everybody else saw only difficulties and objections. The struggle between the right and the expedient, or the practical and the ideal, is always going on. The exploit of Gideon's band was as nothing compared with the daring of the few Galilean fishermen who went forth to preach to a hostile world the story of Christ and Him crucified. "All things are possible to him that believeth."
2. In the next place we may observe that God chose for this great work the man who was to be His instrument, and Gideon obeyed the call. It then became his duty to set to work and collect an army. The result was just what might have been expected. A large number of Gideon's compeers thought it highly desirable that the yoke of the invader should be cast off their necks, but they were afraid to try and do it. They saw the difficulties more plainly than they saw the good to be attained. Even some of those who volunteered at first went back after they had counted the cost. Just so. Every man who honestly assumes a responsibility and attempts a good work may be perfectly sure that ten people will say, "Well done! Go on!" for every one who will say, "I will help you, though I stand to lose by it!" In such cases the man who sees what ought to be done must just obey his call and go forward. It is not upon men, but upon God that he must depend.
3. Further, let us bear in mind that the issues of all things are in the hands of God. We need not be afraid of compromising the doctrine of moral freedom by any such assertion as this. Man has power of choice when he has not power of action. Power of action may be indefinitely extended. God may complete our purposes when they are beyond our ken, and may supplement our deficiencies if we honour Him by obedience and faith. The shortest road to the attainment of an ideal or the fulfilment of a duty is to fearlessly perform what one knows to be right, and trust in God for the issue. We need but lamps and pitchers and trumpets. We must take trouble and be wise, while remembering that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong.
(R. J. Campbell, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
WEB: Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people who were with him, rose up early, and encamped beside the spring of Harod: and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.