Hey! Know what a cow does when she’s in labor? Nope? Me neither. So imagine my surprise when my friend said:
“Look at her udders. And listen to her baying. And watch out. Because she will charge your car if she’s scared of coyotes.”
My friend is part of a farming family of ten. Her husband is recovering from surgery and guess who gets to feed cows, lambs, pick vegetables, and mend fences? Ha! I wore Crocs and a tank top and literally ran AWAY from the cows because they were mooing. At me. They were organizing and preparing to attack me. I know these things.
But, this family needed us. And, our church formed squads to help carry the load. Turns out it takes at least thirty of us to do what two people do in a day. And, not one of us is a farmer. We’re all unlikely farmhands united by a love for God and for this family.
Amazing things happen when God’s people follow Him.
God’s people–real, messy, and weak. Those people following a great God where He wants. Just look at Gideon and his dog army.
Judges 7:1-3 makes it clear that God desires the glory for victory. He’s not on some supernatural ego trip. It is for a purpose. When people get together for God’s work, it is His strength and His plan that gets worked out. In this case, 30,000 battle ready Israelites would have missed the point that it was God’s doing alone that brought victory.
So, first the numbers were reduced from 30,000 to 10,000. And then, they were reduced to 300. 1% of the original number! And all that was left were guys who drank water like dogs.(v.5) Really? Were they qualified warriors?
I guess in God’s eyes they were. God doesn’t seem to be fixated on crunching numbers here as much as demanding that He receive His rightful glory. When God gets His rightful glory, our hearts bend towards Him. We soften and are better prepared to follow with our ego out of the way. We don’t have to tug of war with Him over Who is in charge. Got it God. You lead. I follow. We actually get to the victory quicker when we follow Him and not get side-tracked on self serving ventures.
Gideon would have to trust in God and not in his own understanding. You just don’t use earthly reasoning going to battle an entire nation with a dog army.
I love how God understood that this might not have been exactly what Gideon had in mind. God had mercy on them in their fear 7:10 “But if you fear to attack, go down to the camp with your servant…and you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to attack the camp.” And, attack they did. God provided for them, and there is no doubt to anyone who reads Judges 7 Who brought the victory.
The Bible is replete with unlikely victory. God’s power pulsates through weak, yet willing hearts. Loaves and fishes feed multitudes, widows with mites stand out as spiritual giants, those without any breath left in them walk on out of a tomb.
Because God loves it when all we have is Him and all we’re willing to follow is Him.
And, what I’m finding is that the victory, the joy, the strength needed compounds when weak people called the Church get together and follow Him. Even when it doesn’t make sense. God loves it when His people work together. Sometimes Church is singing worship songs. But, sometimes Church is shoveling cow poop with each other. Or chasing a piglet that got out of her pen, or bringing Spaghettis criollos with plantains to a family of ten. The church is not letting anyone forget that, however weak, we are strong when we bend our hearts to a victorious God. Messy, weak, and willing people get to inherit the Kingdom of God.
I’m not gonna lie. I hope that cow gives birth on someone else’s watch. There’s enough of us that the numbers might be in my favor. Or they won’t. Things might just get a little messy….