*4 Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it. 5 He said to the men of Sukkoth, “Give my troops some bread; they are worn out, and I am still pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”
6 But the officials of Sukkoth said, “Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your troops?”
7 Then Gideon replied, “Just for that, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, I will tear your flesh with desert thorns and briers.”
8 From there he went up to Peniel[a] and made the same request of them, but they answered as the men of Sukkoth had. 9 So he said to the men of Peniel, “When I return in triumph, I will tear down this tower.”
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with a force of about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of the armies of the eastern peoples; a hundred and twenty thousand swordsmen had fallen. 11 Gideon went up by the route of the nomads east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the unsuspecting army. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna, the two kings of Midian, fled, but he pursued them and captured them, routing their entire army.
13 Gideon son of Joash then returned from the battle by the Pass of Heres. 14 He caught a young man of Sukkoth and questioned him, and the young man wrote down for him the names of the seventy-seven officials of Sukkoth, the elders of the town. 15 Then Gideon came and said to the men of Sukkoth, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me by saying, ‘Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession? Why should we give bread to your exhausted men?’” 16 He took the elders of the town and taught the men of Sukkoth a lesson by punishing them with desert thorns and briers. 17 He also pulled down the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the town. (Judges 8)*
Gideon and his men were up against crazy odds. Gideon had 300 exhausted men. The army he was pursuing had 15,000 men. (That’s a 1-50 ratio.) But keep in mind that Gideon had already killed 120,000 men. As they pursued Zebah and Zalmunna, the officials of Sukkoth refused to support Gideon and his men. They responded, do you already have Zebah and Zalmunna? Ouch that must have hurt! There had no faith in Gideon and in God. He went to Peniel and they answered the same. Double ouch! Despite his amazing victory, Gideon still faced opposition from Sukkoth and Peniel.
Many times in the things God calls us to…we will face disbelief by people closest to us. Even in our biggest victories, we will face skepticism and unbelief. When we do God sized things, we will face giant opposition. This is where we must double down and trust in God and not man. Gideon stayed humble and fearless. He continued to stay focused and not get distracted by the skepticism and opposition of man.
Many times as we move forward with the things God lays out before us…even in the face of overwhelming obstacles/odds and even after we have proven ourselves as righteous and worthy, we will face opposition by our friends and by those on our team. We cannot take this unbelief personally and worse yet have it distract us. Many leaders in the bible have experienced this…Nehemiah, David, Moses, Noah, etc.
Almighty Father, creator of heaven and earth. I know that the things you call me too will face opposition from my enemies and friends. That my heart needs to be fixed on you and your call. That I need to guard my heart…not have my heart get hard but to remain a shepherd as I persevere. To be compassionate and a heart that will love over all circumstances. To remember that many have walked the same path and trust that it will strengthens my faith in you and you alone. That I will learn to fear you and not man. Give me the heart and faith of Gideon. In Jesus name I pray. Amen