How Gideon Formed His Attack on the Enemy Camp [Judges 7.16-7.20]
16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.
18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.--Judges 7:16-20 (KJV)
16 Gideon divided the 300 men into three companies. He gave them each rams' horns and jars with torches inside.--Judges 7:16-20 (GW)
And he divided the three hundred men, into three companies, one of which he commanded. He placed one hundred men in each company, partly to give the appearance of an organized army, with a right and left flank, and partly to fall upon the camp of Midian from three directions to give the impression that they were attempting to surround the camp. Gideon, by dividing his army, small as it was, into three companies would facilitate his deception because great armies (and that was the impression he wanted to make) were usually divided into the right wing, the left wing, and the main body of the army.
Though the victory was to belong to the Lord, yet he knew that he ought to use sensible tactics; and those which he employed on this occasion were the best calculated to assist in the Lord’s plan. If he had not used these means, it is not likely that God would have delivered the Midianites into his hands. Sometimes, even in working a miracle, God will use natural means: Go, dip thyself seven times in Jordan. Go, wash in the pool Siloam.
Gideon’s battle plan appears to have been carefully worked out, but whether it was beholden to his spiritual illumination we cannot say. But what we can say is that his methods were a type of psychological warfare.
and he put a trumpet in every man's hand; the 9,700 men that were ordered to return to their homes because they failed the water trial had included many trumpeters, who, either because they were ordered to do so by Gideon or because God had put the thought in their mind, had left their trumpets behind, whereby there was a sufficient number for three hundred men; and these were put into their hands, so that when they blew them together, the noise would be very loud; and it would seem as if they were being attacked by a great army; the confusion and panic this would create would terrify the enemy. The word for trumpets is soparot; they are made from rams’ horns and they gave a sharp shrill sound. Joshua used the same type of trumpet at Jericho and perhaps this connection with that great victory helped encourage Gideon and his men as they faced the battle.
with empty pitchers, and lamps (torches) within the pitchers; the pitchers were made of earth (clay), and so they were easily broken, and would make a great noise when slammed against each other; and these were empty of water, or otherwise they would not have been fit to put lamps into, and the lamps put inside of them were not oil lamps; because, when the pitchers were broken, the oil would have run out; but they contained a kind of torch, made of rosin, wax, pitch, and such things; and these were put into the pitcher, partly to protect them from the wind, but mainly to conceal them from the enemy. They held the pitcher with the torch inside in one hand, and the trumpet in the other hand, until at just the right time; when they came upon the enemy soldiers, they would break the pitchers and hold out the torches; which on a dark night would make a terrible blaze, to incite fear in the enemy and give light to the Israelites as they go down the hill and into the camp. The sudden blaze of the held-up lights—the loud echo of the trumpets, and the shouts of Israel, always terrifying (Nu. 23:21), and now more terrible than ever by the use of such striking words, broke through the stillness of the midnight air.
God used these unusual tactics to signify that the whole victory came from him.
___________________________________verse 16 notes_________________________________
(Nu. 23:21) “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.”
17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.--Judges 7.17 (KJV)
17He said to them, “Watch me, and do what I do. When I come to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do.--Judges 7.17 (GW)
And he said unto them, look on me, and do likewise. Observe what I do, and do the same, in blowing a trumpet, breaking a pitcher, and shouting with the words expressed by him.
and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp; where the sentinels stood, and the watch was set:
it shall be, that as I do, so shall ye do; and do not do it before I do; a trumpet was not to be blown, nor a pitcher broken, nor a torch held out, nor a word spoken, until they came to the outside of the camp: and then they were to observe the motions of Gideon, and do as he did. The thing they must do was so strange that it is very unlikely they would have done it of their own accord, but he would do it first to notify them when to do it, and to show them what to do. In a similar way officers prompt their soldiers with the word of command or by beat of drum: Look on me, and do likewise. This is the same word of command which our Lord Jesus, the captain of our salvation, gives his soldiers; for he has left us an example, with a command to go with it: As I do, so shall you do.
Gideon had come a long way since the day God had found him hiding in the winepress! No longer do we hear him asking “if—why—when?” (6.13) No longer does he seek for a sign. Instead, he confidently gave orders to his men, knowing that the Lord would give them the victory.
18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.--Judges 7:18 (KJV)
18 When I and those with me blow our rams' horns, then the rest of you around the camp do the same and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon!'”--Judges 7:18 (GW)
When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me; he being at the head of one of the three companies, (Judges 7:19 ) perhaps the middlemost, which might stand for the main body of the army; and the other two, one to the right and the other to the left of him, and so they could more easily observe his motions.
then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp; for it seems they had fanned out around the camp, so that when all the trumpets were blown at the same time it sounded like the enemy had them surrounded, and then, with such a blaze of light, and crashing of the pitchers, the effect must have been very terrifying, as if there was no way for them to escape, and especially when they heard the following dreadful sounds.
and say, (the sword) of the Lord, and of Gideon. When they went into battle, their cry was to be, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.” They could have threatened with some other expressions such as, the light is for the Lord, and for Gideon; or the victory is for the Lord, and for Gideon. These Heathens had often heard he name Jehovah, as the God of Israel, But His name would now be frightful to them, and the name of Gideon also. His name, as it appeared in the interpretation of the dream, provoked fear among them; and that is the reason Gideon added it, and not out of arrogance and vanity; and he puts it after the name of the Lord, so he would appear only as an instrument the Lord thought fit to make use of, otherwise all the glory belonged to him.
Something I find very interesting is that Gideon did not have a sword and neither did any of the three hundred men. You see they were under the rule of the Midianites, and the Midianites did not let them have an arsenal. They kept the weapons and the swords for themselves. So Gideon’s strategy employed pitchers, lamps, and trumpets.
__________________________________verse 18 notes________________________________________
(THE SWORD] THIS OLD HYMN SPEAKS OF THE SWORD. (THE SWORD OF THE LORD AND OF GIDEON).
Words & Music: Philip P. Bliss, 1875 (MI¬DI, score).
Philip P. Bliss (1838-1876)
It was midnight in the valley, and the camp was dark and still,
Where the slumb’ring host of Midian lay along the sloping hill,
When a blinding flash of torches, and a trumpet loud and shrill,
Threw out the battle cry:
Blow ye the trumpet, for the Lord hath made us free;
Your blazing lamps raise high!
“The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon,” shall be
Our conqu’ring battle cry.
Where the faint and fearful thousands had returned at God’s command,
By the chosen few of faithful, vict’ry came to Gideon’s band;
Hear them giving God the glory, and around the camp they stand
And shout their battle cry:
Christian soldiers, be not fearful; onward with your Captain go;
Ever “looking unto Jesus” you shall conquer ev’ry foe;
He hath triumphed—take your trumpets, let the world your vict’ry know;
Sing loud your battle cry:
Gideon Chooses the Three Hundred, by James Tissot (1836-1902)
19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.--Judges 7:19 (KJV)
19 Gideon and his 100 men came to the edge of the camp. It was the beginning of the midnight watch just at the change of the guards. They blew their rams' horns and smashed the jars they were holding in their hands.--Judges 7:19 (GW)
So Gideon, and the one hundred men that were with him, which was one of the three companies his army was divided into, and was also the company he commanded, made their descent at night, when the Midianites and their allies slept, and when they were vulnerable and least expected it, and when the smallness of his army would not be discovered. In the night all frightful things are made even more frightful, especially in the dead of the night, as this was, a little after midnight, when the middle watch began, and the alarm would wake them out of their sleep. We read of terror by night as very terrible (Ps. 91:5), and would put them into great panic,
The sleepers started from their rest; not a blow was dealt by the Israelites; but the enemy ran tumultuously, uttering the wild, discordant cries peculiar to the Arab race. They fought indiscriminately, not knowing friend from foe. The panic being universal, they soon hastily fled, directing their flight down to the Jordan, by the foot of the mountains of Ephraim, to places known as the "house of the acacia" [Beth-shittah], and "the meadow of the dance" [Abel-meholah].
came unto the outside of the camp, in the beginning of the middle watch; The middle watch is the second watch, for the night was divided into three watches; even though in later times the Romans made use of four watches, which the Jews adopted from them; that's why in the New Testament we read of the fourth watch; yet in earlier times, with the Jews and other eastern nations, there were just three watches, as affirmed by Jarchi and Kimchi: and Gideon was very wise to choose this watch for the time to assault the enemy; because if he had come at the first watch, many would still have not gone to bed, or at least not fallen asleep; and had he come in the third watch, many might have been awake, and many others already up; but he took this time, a little after midnight, in the dead of the night, when the whole army was fast asleep:
The small number of his men favored Gideon’s plan; since, being so few, they marched to the camp with greater secrecy, so that they were not discovered until they were close to the camp; and then he intended to give the alarm when they were noticed by the guards—as I do, so shall ye do. The guards would then send the danger signal throughout the camp, which was the best service they could do him.
and they had but newly set the watch; the first watch had just gone off duty, and the second had replaced them; but such an observation seems unnecessary, since Gideon came at the beginning of the second watch it must of course been recently set. The guard has just been relieved, and the new watchers have settled quietly by the watch-fire, as Gideon and his three 100 man companies silently crept around to three different parts of Midian's camp.
In Gideon’s day the first watch was from 6 P.M. TO 10 P.M.; the middle watch was from 10 P.M. TO 2 A.M.; and the third watch started at 2 A.M. and went to 6 A.M.
Gideon and his men, by their approach, caused the alarm to be sounded; in fact, they might have called out to the sentinels on purpose to alert them to give the alarm to the army, who upon hearing that would immediately hear the sound of the trumpets, and the clattering of the pitchers, and see the torches burning, to their great surprise.
What Gideon aimed to do was to frighten this huge horde; to give them not only a fatal defeat, but a very shameful one. He equipped every man in his army with a trumpet in his right hand, and an earthen pitcher, with a torch in it, in his left, and he thought it was not belittling to him to march before them armed with the same implements. He would make a joke of conquering this army, and so he goes out against them like they are a company of children rather than a host of soldiers.
“This is the word the LORD has spoken concerning him:
She despises you, laughs you to scorn,
the virgin daughter Zion;
Behind you she wags her head,
daughter Jerusalem. (Isa. 37:22)
and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands; as soon as Gideon and his hundred men came upon the watch and incited them to sound the alarm. The fright which Gideon gave to the hosts of Midian in the dead of the night was as effective as he hoped it would be; those who had for so long been a terror to Israel, and had so often frightened them were routed and wrecked purely by terror.
There are three ways in which Gideon devised to strike a terror into this army, and so put them into disorder.
1. With a great noise. Every man must blow his trumpet in the most appalling manner he could and smash an earthen pitcher to pieces at the same time; probably each man smashed his pitcher into the man’s next to him, and so they were both broken both together at the same time, which would not only make a great crashing sound, but was a representation of what would be the effects of the panic it caused; the Midianites’ killing one another.
2. With a great blaze. The lighted torches were hid in the pitchers, like a candle under a bushel, until they came to the camp, and then, all of them being taken out at the same time, would make a glaring show that could be seen throughout the camp like a flash of lightning. Perhaps they used some of their torches to set some of the tents on the outside of the camp on fire, which would serve to increase the confusion.
3. With a great shout. Every man must cry, For the Lord, and for Gideon (some think it should be read this way in v. 18, for there the word “sword” is not in the original
This attack was, in many ways is like that which Abraham made upon the army that had taken Lot captive. The number of men was pretty much the same: Abraham had 318, Gideon 300; they both divided their forces, both made their attack by night, and were both victorious despite great disadvantages (Gen. 14:14, 15); and Gideon is not only a son of Abraham (so were the Midianites by Keturah) but an heir of his faith.
____________________________________verse 19 notes__________________________________
(Psalm 91.5; NKJV) “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day,” Night is a time of terrors, because it is a time of treasons, plunder, robbery, and murder. The godly man lies down in peace, and sleeps quietly, for he trusts his body, soul, and substance, in the hand of God; and he knows that he who keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. It may also mean all spiritual foes,—the rulers of the darkness of this world. I have heard the following petition in an evening family prayer: "Blessed Lord, take us into thy protection this night; and preserve us from disease, from sudden death, from the violence of fire, from the edge of the sword, from the designs of wicked men, and from the influence of malicious spirits!"—Adam Clarke's Commentary
(Gen. 14:14, 15) “When Abram heard that his nephew had been captured, he mustered three hundred and eighteen of his retainers, born in his house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He and his party deployed against them at night, defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. He recovered all the possessions, besides bringing back his kinsman Lot and his possessions, along with the women and the other captives.
20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.--Judges 7.20 (KJV)
20 The three companies also blew their rams' horns and broke their jars. They held the torches in their left hands and the rams' horns in their right hands so that they could blow them. They shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”--Judges 7.20 GW
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers. The other two, observing what Gideon and his company did, followed their example, and at the same time blew their trumpets, and broke their pitchers.
How shocking the effect must be on the half-awakened eyes of the terrified Midianites; when on a dark night, there is the sudden glare from three hundred torches that are waved furiously, and in the same instant three hundred pitchers are broken, three hundred trumpets give out as many different horrible sounds, and alternately mingled with the thundering shout of chereb layhovah ulegidon, "A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!" Origen, in his ninth homily on this book, makes these three hundred men types of the preachers of the Gospel; their trumpets of the preaching of Christ crucified; and their lights or torches, of the holy conduct of righteous men. In some verses by an ancient author, attributed to Tertullian, and written against the heretic Marcion, Gideon's three hundred men are represented as horsemen; and in this number he finds the mystery of the cross; because the Greek letter Τ, tau, which is the numeral for 300, is itself the sign of the cross. The verses, which may be found in vol. v. of the Pisaurian Collection of the Latin heathen and Christian poets, Advers, Marcion., lib. 3, ver. 18, are not familiar to many people, but here I present them in the English language:
"Gideon, keen in arms, was captain of the host,
And acquired redemption for his people, but not by his own power.
Being strengthened in faith, his heart was influenced to ask a sign
By which he might know whether or not he should be successful in battle.
A fleece was so placed by night, that it might be wet with dew;
And all the surrounding earth remain dry.
By this he was to learn that he should gain the victory over his enemies.
The sign was reversed; the fleece remaining dry while all the ground was moist;
And by this sign he was to know that he should slaughter those troops of robbers.
The people of Christ conquer without any military force;
Three hundred horsemen, (for the Greek letter T, tau, is the emblem of the number),
Armed with torches, and blowing with trumpets.
The fleece of the sheep are the people sprung from the Messiah,
And the earth are the various nations dispersed over the world.
It is the word which nourishes; but might is the image of death.
Tau is the sign of the cross; and the trumpets, the emblems of the heralds of life;
And the burning torches in the pitchers, the emblems of the Holy Spirit."
We see here what puzzling meanings a strong imagination, assisted by a little piety, may extract from what was never intended to be understood as a mystery.—Adam Clarke's Commentary
As we have said before, the Midianites and Amalekites were among the nomadic tribes of the desert. They had raided the land of Israel and seized their crops and supplies. They had a very loose organization. They moved as disorganized nomads through the desert and did not have an organized army. They had set a few guards about the camp but most of the people were asleep, here, there, and yonder. They did not expect to be attacked at night. To begin with, it is difficult to see at night. So Gideon posted his three hundred men in three groups around the camp. At a certain time they blew their trumpets and broke the pitchers so that the light shone out. Each trumpet represented the fact that there were probably several hundred of the enemies present. Imagine the Midianites waking out of a sound sleep. The first thing they did was start whacking their swords in every direction. The Israelites did not have swords. All they did was hold the light so the Midianites could go after each other. It was a regular riot! The Midianites soon fled over the hills into the tall timber and out of the area. This gave Gideon and the Israelites a tremendous victory.
Now let us look at a spiritual lesson concerning the pitchers. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels …” (2 Cor. 4:7). Those pitchers represent the bodies of believers. That is what Paul means when he says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies [your total personalities] a living sacrifice … unto God …” (Rom. 12:1). That is the reason we ought not to glory in any man. Paul says that. “Therefore let no man glory in men …” (1 Cor. 3:21). That is the earthen vessel. We have this treasure in earthen vessels—pitchers. Some of us are not broken and, as a result, the light does not shine through. It is not our light that we should shine, but the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. His light should shine through us. It can only shine in a broken life. We are to shine as lights in the world. Paul told the Philippians, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:14–15).
and held the lamps in their left hands; which they took out of the pitchers when they broke them, and holding them up in their left hands, created a great blaze of light, which must have been very surprising to the host of Midian, who were just awakened out of their sleep.
This method used to defeat the Midianites may be representative of:
1. The destruction of the devil’s kingdom in the world by the preaching of the everlasting gospel, that is, the sounding of that trumpet, and the holding forth of that light out of earthen vessels, since this is what the ministers of the Gospel do in whom the treasure of that light is deposited (2 Co. 4:6, 7). Thus God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, a barley-cake to overthrow the tents of Midian, that the excellency of the power might be of God only; the gospel is a sword, not in the hand, but in the mouth, the sword of the Lord and of Gideon, of God and Jesus Christ, him that sits on the throne and the Lamb.
2. The terrors of the great day. So the excellent bishop Hall applies it; “if these pitchers, trumpets, and firebrands, did so daunt and dismay the proud troops of Midian and Amalek, who shall be able to stand before the last terror, when the trumpet of the archangel shall sound, the elements shall be on a flame, the heavens pass away with a great noise, and the Lord himself shall descend with a shout!”
and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal; and which they continued blowing, the sound of which must be very shocking, since it might be concluded, from such a number of trumpets, that there must be a vast army attacking them.
How it began! Suddenly a single trumpet is heard, then three hundred—here, there, everywhere the sound of war is raised. The night is peopled with terrors. Now with a loud crash three hundred pitchers are broken; three hundred torches flash through the darkness; three hundred voices shout: "The sword for Jehovah and for Gideon!" Then is the enemy all around the camp! No one can say in what numbers. Again and again rings the trumpet-sound; wave the torches. The camp is roused. Men, women, children, camels rush terror-stricken through the dark night. No one knows whether the enemy is in the very midst of them, and if perhaps, the neighbor whom he meets is an Israelite, for all around there is still the sound the war-trumpets, the flash the torches, and the war-cry. Each man's sword is turned against his neighbor. Multitudes are killed or trampled down, and their cries and groans increase the terror of that wild night. A hopeless panic ensues, and in morning-light, the site of the camp and the road that leads towards the Jordan River are strewn with the slain. —Bible History: Old Testament
First Corinthians 14:8 says, “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” This speaks of the testimony and witness of believers. The testimony and witness of believers must be certain and clear.
and they cried, the sword of the Lord and of Gideon; signifying that swords were drawn against the Midianites, and they must expect to be cut in pieces by them, since the sword was Jehovah's, sent and commissioned by Him, and was put into the hand of Gideon as an instrument, with which the Lord would help by directing its use in the execution of the Midianites and their allies. The Targum is, “the sword of the Lord, and victory by the hand of Gideon;” this victory was to be ascribed to the sword and power of God. It was an indication of the effectiveness of the word of God, accompanied with His power, to bring destruction to the kingdom of Satan.
Each of the weapons used by Gideon’s army had a specific roll in the battle;
1. The sound of the horns would signal the call to battle.
2. The breaking of the pitchers would simulate the clash of arms.
3. The torches added an eerie effect and made Gideon’s little band appear to be a large army.
4. The shouts of the sword of the Lord and of Gideon identified the attackers and registered fear in the hearts of the Midianites, since they had heard of Jehovah and his great power, and just recently they were beginning to hear about Gideon’s exploits.
In a spiritual sense the weapons used by Gideon symbolize something greater; the blowing of the trumpets may denote the ministration of the Gospel, the great trumpet to be blown by the apostles and ministers of the word; the holding forth of the lamps may signify the same thing, the light of the divine word in the ministers of it, and the witnessing of it to others; which is carried in earthen vessels, frail mortal men; and it is all done to show the excellence of the power of Almighty God, and not of men; and the sword of the Lord is the word of God in the mouths of ministers, accompanied by the power of God; for it can only be through God that such weapons of warfare can become mighty to carry out the execution of God’s judgment that is done by them; see ( 2 Corinthians 4:7 ) ( 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5).
Blowing of trumpets, and then a cry or shout from the soldiers were used to terrify the enemy, in later times.
The Midianites were shouted out of their lives, the same as the walls of Jericho were shouted down, so that Gideon might see what he of late lost hope of ever seeing, the wonders that their fathers told them of. Gideon’s soldiers obeyed their orders, and stood every man in his place round about the camp
Gideon may have borrowed the phrase The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon from the Midianite’s dream (v. 14): it is the sword of Gideon. Finding out that his name frightened them, he moves to increase the terror it created by adding a prefix—the name of Jehovah, without which his own name was simply insignificant. This would put life into his men, who might well acquire courage when they had such a God as Jehovah, and such a man as Gideon, both to fight for, and to fight for them; they would gladly follow such leaders. It would likewise put their enemies to flight, who had for centuries heard of Jehovah’s great name, and recently of Gideon’s. The sword of the Lord has everything to do with the success of the sword of Gideon, yet the sword of Gideon must be employed. Men as the instruments, and God as the principal agent, both have their places, but men, even the greatest and best, are always in subservience and subordination to God. This army was to be defeated purely by fear, and that fear is the sword of the Lord. These soldiers did not have a sword in their hands, but they gained the victory by shouting “The sword.” So the church’s enemies are routed by a sword out of the mouth (Rev. 19:21). These soldiers did not have a sword in their hands, but they gained the victory by shouting “The sword.” So the church’s enemies are routed by a sword out of the mouth, (Rev. 19:21).
There are some more wonderful spiritual lessons in this account. First of all, I would like to go back to this matter of the dew on the fleece. We need God today to do an interior decorating job on our lives. We need to ask Him for dew on our barren lives. In Hosea 14:5 God says, “I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.” God speaks about this subject several times. “And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath” (Deut. 33:13). “The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass” (Prov. 19:12). “By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew” (Prov. 3:20). Finally, in Psalm 133:1–3, God says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” God has blessed in this way. We need that touch—that fresh touch. We need it like dew upon the rosebud and the grass in the morning. We need a tender touch.
Hosea 14:55 tells us that the lily is delicate. He, our Lord God, will come down upon us like rain upon the mown grass. Even when we are in trouble, and He has cut us down, He will come down upon us like rain. Our Lord could weep over Jerusalem, but do we weep today over sinners? The Publican could smite his breast and cry out about his sin, but what about us today? We need a touch from God that will make us strong and stable, grounded and settled. Oh that we could say with the psalmist, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Ps. 57:7).
We need the dew of God upon our lives to bring purity into our lives. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:14, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” This is what we need today. God uses only a clean cup. 1 Peter 1:16 says, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” God says this to us. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1). What a wonderful picture and lesson we have here.
___________________________verse 20 notes_________________________________________
(2 Co. 4:6, 7; ASV) “Seeing it is God, that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves.” For God, who commanded light to shine out of darkness. Gen 1:3. Hath shined in our hearts. By bringing to the light of the gospel. The light of the knowledge, etc. Knowledge is light. The glory of God is revealed in his Son, who hath shown for the divine excellency, tenderness and love. We have this treasure in earthen vessels. The treasure of the knowledge of Christ and of the ministry of the gospel of life. Perhaps his enemies pointed to his sorrows as a proof that he was not so favored as a minister of Christ. A splendid treasure was placed in a fragile, cheap earthen vessel. Then it was manifest that the great work wrought was the power of God, not of us, the apostles and evangelists.—People's New Testament, The
(2 Cor. 4.7; YLT) “And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us;” "Lest any should say, How then is it that we continue to enjoy such unspeakable glory in a mortal body? Paul replies, this very fact is one of the most marvellous proofs of God's power, that an earthen vessel could bear such splendor and keep such a treasure" [CHRYSOSTOM, Homilies, 8.496, A].
The treasure or "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God." The fragile "earthen vessel" is the body, the "outward man" (2Co 4:16; compare 2Co 4:10), liable to afflictions and death. So the light in Gideon's pitchers, is a type). The ancients often kept their treasures in jars or vessels of earthenware. "There are earthen vessels which yet may be clean; whereas a golden vessel may be filthy" [BENGEL].
( 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5; GW) “The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy people's defenses, that is, their arguments and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.”
(Rev. 19:20, 21) “The beast was caught and with it the false prophet who had performed in its sight the signs by which he led astray those who had accepted the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped its image. The two were thrown alive into the fiery pool burning with sulfur. The rest were killed by the sword that came out of the mouth of the one riding the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.” Now the chief antagonists, the beast (cf. 13:1) and the false prophet (cf. 13:11), are seized and thrown alive into the lake of fire. The false prophet (the Antichrist, religious leader) is singled out; because it was he who worked miracles to seduce and deceive men (cf. II Thess 2:1–12). It is remarkable that these two ungodly leaders find their final place of judgment even before Satan does (cf. 20:7–10). Their followers are slain by the sword of Christ; notice the wording of II Thessalonians 2:8: “… the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth” to learn the literalness of these events. The final word is that the supper of God filled the appetite of all the fowls. Horrendous carnage it will be.
(Hosea 14:5) “I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them.” God promises to be as the dew unto Israel; and this will result in Israel’s growth as a lily, which was noted both for its beauty and productivity. In addition, Israel will put down roots like the cedars of Lebanon, which were known for their stability and durability.”