He'll Always Get the Glory!
Updated: Feb 14
This Week's Scripture & Reflection: Judges 7:1-8
No matter how humble we strive or perceive ourselves to be, God alone knows the true extent of our self-centeredness. He knows that an inherent, sinful desire to exalt and glorify ourselves above Him exists deep within us. And because He is the omniscient God, He knows exactly how to humble each one of us according to our unique personalities, individual circumstances, and various degrees of selfishness. God knows that even His own children struggle at times with deflecting the praise and glory they receive from others off themselves and upward to Him. It's not that we as His children don't know to whom the praise and glory truly belongs, rather the acclaim we receive is often hard to deflect because it pleases our human flesh!
In Judges 6, God calls a young man named Gideon, whom He addresses as a valiant warrior or mighty man of valor, to lead the armies of Israel into war against a formidable nation called Midian. After initially meeting God's call with resistance and asking for signs of confirmation of the Lord's very presence among him, Gideon finally accepts the Lord's charge to lead the Israelites into battle. Before they go into battle, however, the Lord informs Gideon that there are too many men in his army, specifically too many for Him to give Midian into the Israelites' hands. Gideon's army totaled 32,000 men; logically, having an army of that size would be perfect and almost necessary to go up against a formidable army such as the Midianites and the accompanying Amalekites! However, God was not concerned with war logic or strategy!
God's main concern was Israel's ego! He informs Gideon that Israel would become boastful upon conquering Midian as a 32,000-men army! They would ascribe the victory to their own power and claim the praise and glory of the victory for themselves if He allowed them to defeat Midian at their current size. Therefore, after two distinct elimination processes, God reduces the Israelite army from 32,000 men to only 300 men. Surely, a 300-men army in contrast to a 32,000-men army represents a huge difference, yet this is exactly what the Lord wanted in order to prevent Israel from boasting in themselves. If anyone was going to get the glory from the Israelites' defeat of the Midianites, it was going to be God and God alone!
You may believe that praising and glorifying God is always going to be your response when He does something amazingly powerful or demonstrative in your life. However, beware of the underlying temptation to assume the credit for something that the Lord has truly done! God divinely orchestrates circumstances in such a manner that leaves you with no question about who truly opened those doors of opportunity, brought you through those overwhelming seasons of difficulty, and ultimately caused you to triumph! This is not to say that you do not or cannot play a role in God's plan! Like Gideon and his army, your submission and obedience to God's instruction is key! However, our obedience is just that: obeying what the Lord has instructed us to do! Ultimately, He orchestrates the plan and invisibly set things into motion to accomplish His will. Therefore, He deserves the credit! He works on our behalf to accomplish feats that we would have never been able to win in our own strength! What a mighty God we serve!