Judges 7:16-25 (JDV)
Judges 7:16 Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies and gave each of the men a trumpet in one hand and a hollow1 pitcher with a torch inside it in the other hand.
Judges 7:17 “Watch me,” he said to them, “and do what I do. Notice when I come to the outpost of the camp, do as I do.
Judges 7:18 When I and everyone with me blow our trumpets, you are also to blow your trumpets all around the camp. Then you will say, ‘For Yahveh and for Gideon! ‘”
Judges 7:19 Gideon and the hundred men who were with him went to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch after the sentries had been stationed. They blew their trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands.
Judges 7:20 The three companies blew their trumpets and shattered their pitchers. They held their torches in their left hands, their trumpets in their right hands, and shouted, “A sword for Yahveh and for Gideon!”
Judges 7:21 Each Israelite took his position around the camp, and the entire Midianite army began to run, and they cried out as they fled.
Judges 7:22 When Gideon’s men blew their three hundred trumpets, Yahveh caused the men in the whole army to turn on each associate with their swords. They fled to Acacia House in the direction of Zererah as far as the border of Abel-meholah near Tabbath.
Judges 7:23 Then the men of Israel were summoned from Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh, and they pursued the Midianites.
Judges 7:24 Gideon sent agents throughout the hill country of Ephraim with this message: “Come down to intercept the Midianites and take control of the watercourses ahead of them as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan.” So all the men of Ephraim were summoned, and they took control of the watercourses as far as Beth-barah and the Jordan.
Judges 7:25 They captured Oreb and Zeeb, the two princes of Midian; they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb, while they were pursuing the Midianites. They brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon across the Jordan.
Gideon is listed among the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11:32. Although his faith was not strong, once he was convinced that God was going to use him, he demonstrated faithfulness as a leader. Notice that he called on his soldiers to declare allegiance to Yahveh and himself. He knew that if God was going to do something, it had to be obvious that he was the reason, not Gideon. Gideon was a leader second. He was a follower first.
Such is a case for those in leadership in God’s congregation, and those who lead politically under him. We must make it clear that our allegiance is to our heavenly Father first, and that is the basis for our expecting people to follow us.
Jesus commands us to seek God’s kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). We are allowed to seek other things, but only once it is clear that our primary allegiance is settled.
LORD, we declare our primary allegiance to you and your kingdom — then to the leaders you have given us.