“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ ML King Jr.
I wonder what it was like to be one of the 300 men chosen by God to face the vast invading army with Gideon. They started with 32,000 and were reduced to so few because of how they drank water from the stream. The writer of Judges tells us that, “The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore” (Judges 7:12). That is who they were to fight… And now Gideon has divided the 300 men into three groups and has given each man a ram’s horn and a clay jar with a torch in it. Who fights with this stuff? Then Gideon said to all of them, “Keep your eyes on me. When I come to the edge of the camp, do just as I do. As soon as I and those with me blow the rams’ horns, blow your horns, too, all around the entire camp, and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon’” (Judges 7:16-18).
That night when the jars of clay containing the ‘Light’ where smashed and the trumpets and voices proclaimed the presence of God’s glory; the entire enemy was defeated and given to those who trusted in God’s Word… fighting the battle by God’s Design. It took great courage to stand before the enemy with a pitcher containing ‘the light’. That courage could not be in such temporal things as their own strength or weapons; they were small in number and holding jars with a torch in them. No, their courage had to be anchored in the One who told them to do it this way.
Paul alludes to this scene when he says about the Believer in Jesus, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”(2 Cor 4:7). This treasure is not temporal things like money, power, or position; it is ‘the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.’ And it is when we smash ourselves and our will, ‘being afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed but not despairing, persecuted but not forsaken, and knocked down but not out; that we realize all these things are with purpose and meaning, which is in giving way to ‘Christ who lives within me’ (Gal 2:20) shining brightly into the lives of those around us with the truth.
The circumstances we face are not set before us for harm, but that as we choose to respond in Faith to God and His Word, regardless of the circumstances, the ‘light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus’ shines out into the darkness, bringing hope and victory to those who stand in its glory, just as it did for Gideon’s army of 300.
As believers, living with Jesus as our Lord, we have this confidence, “We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with those who receive the light.” The Believer in Jesus realizes that “All of this is for the benefit of those God is pursuing with the Light of His Word. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.” It is for this reason ‘we never give up’. “Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now (our current circumstances) will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:14-18)
Praying for you, and that the light in you shines bright today as you trust in His Word and live by it. If you don’t yet have the light burning bright in you, I pray you choose Christ today.
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.