The Israelites were being oppressed again due to their recurring infidelity to the Lord. The Midianites had driven them off the land and into caves. When they again returned to the Lord with their cries for deliverance, God chose the weakest clan of Manasseh and the least those brothers, Gideon.
Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress to keep the Midianites from knowing about the harvest when the angel of the Lord greeted him as a "mighty man of valor." Gideon didn't think of himself as courageous. He was threshing in secret.
But the Lord had decided to deliver Israel in a manner that could not be mistaken for anything but a miracle from the Lord. So when Gideon gathered his army, the Lord thinned it's ranks, not once, but twice. Gideon's final army consisted of only three hundred men.
The Lord routed the Midianites through Gideon and his men, not by their numbers and strength, but by their obedience to His commands. They went into battle in the middle of the night with trumpet in one hand and lamp in the other. They didn't have a third hand with which to draw swords.
We should always be aware that the Lord is the victor in any of our battles. If we try to do things in our own strength, we can be defeated. It's only the Lord who is never bested on the field of battle. Our courage comes from His strength when we obey Him. It is the only sure source of victory.
Keep us from the sin of arrogance in our own strength. Remind us of our dependence upon You and Your plans for our lives. Shine the light of Your truth in all our circumstances, so that we may see them from Your perspective.
In Jesus' most precious name.