Judges 7:9-11 “And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.”
The account of Gideon’s victory over the Midianites is an amazing story of faith. To realize the hundreds of thousands who were defeated by the actions of only three hundred is unfathomable. God whittled the army of Gideon down to a number that would absolutely prove that He was the One to get Israel the victory.
In the process of it all, there lies a small nugget that we often overlook.
God told Gideon that He would be victorious over the Midianite army. He told Gideon to go down to the army and espy them. He also made a provision that if he feared to go down, that he should take Phurah, his servant with him. Sounds simple right?
I looked up the meaning of the name ‘Phurah’ – it means ‘one that bears fruit’.
Here was a reluctant leader who, being led by God; was put into an impossible situation. The sheer amount of soldiers that they witnessed must have melted their hearts.
Judges 7:12 “And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.”
God is real good at counting. But, here He says – ‘…like grasshoppers for multitude‘ and ‘without number‘ and finally ‘…as the sand by the sea side for multitude‘… that is huge!
Not many mne have ever seen that many men in one place. Hundreds of thousands all arrayed for battle. As God sent his servant, Gideon to encourage his heart, he sent Gideon’s servant with him to bolster his faith that he would indeed ‘bear fruit’.
God does nothing on accident or by chance. Down to the last detail, God has had everything planned. So, when we read of these things, we can look deeper and still find such nuggets that God left for us to find.
While this account is fantastical an near improbable by today’s standards; we can take heart that the same God that guided Gideon to an epic and historic victory, He also has our best interest in mind for the battles we face today.
While looking deeper int to the meaning of a name may encourage us, know that the very God who gave us this account is writing our history as well.
What will be said of our faith today?
Will those observing our faith see steps that God has guided to do the impossible? We do serve the God of the impossble – do we not?
Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
Do we fear to do that which the God of the impossible has commanded us to do?
We may not have a servant named Phurah with us to encourage us that God will cause us to bear fruit. But, we do have His presence:
Hebrews 13:5 “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
We do have His promise:
John 14:12 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
You and I can do what Jesus did – and greater… that is if we believe what Jesus just said.
It is His name that we trust.
El Elyon – The God Most High
El Olam – The Everlasting God
El Shaddai – God Almighty
Elohim – The Creator
Yahweh – The Self-Existent One
Yahweh Raah – The Lord My Shepherd
Yahweh Tsidkenu – The Lord Our Righteousness
These are just a very small sample – but I hope enough to encourage you today to trust Him and walk with Him.