The story of Gideon is likely familiar to all of us: Gideon went into battle against the Midianites, the enemies of Israel, with a great army. His army was originally comprised of 32,000 soldiers. But God spoke to him and said, “The people who are with you are too many.” And He instructed Gideon to reduce the size of his army—until at the end there were only 300 men left. And beyond that, the men of this little force were to do without conventional weapons and merely equip themselves with some trumpets and torches.
This went against all rational thinking. How was anyone supposed to fight against a gigantic army of enemies with nothing but torches and trumpets? But Gideon feared God and thought, “If God calls upon us to fight with these weapons, we will also gain the victory with them.” From a human perspective this would have sounded like complete nonsense, but because Gideon was God-fearing, and because he trusted God, he went into battle with nothing more than these pathetic weapons—and conquered the enemy: God granted Gideon the victory!
God wants us to fight our battles with His weapons, not with earthly weapons. Human beings always want to fight with power and violence—and those who are strong always plan on emerging from the battle as victors. But God tells us, “Put those weapons aside. Make use of the weapon of prayer, the weapon of obedience to the commandments, the weapon of willingness to forgive, the weapon of patience, and the weapon of the love of God.
Let us employ the weapons of God when we are attacked. This may seem senseless at first, but it works: let us try it sometime!
* Jean-Luc Schneider