Strange Weapons Lesson 3: The Pitcher (factual summary)April 15, 2011 at 9:13 am | Posted in Strange Weapons | 8 Comments
Tags: Biblical battles, broken pitchers, Gideon, Gideon's pitchers, Judges 6, Judges 7, Midianites, spiritual warfare, weapons of spiritual warfare
Lesson Three: The Pitcher
For this lesson I am not using the word “pitcher” to describe the player who stands on the mound and tries to strike out the batters. Nor am I talking about the word we used back where I grew up for a photograph. The “pitcher” to which I’m referring here is a large jar or a container for holding water.
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.
In Judges Chapter 7 it is the Midianites who have been oppressing God’s people – stealing their crops every year for seven years. God was allowing this to happen because God’s people had not been acting like God’s people. In previous lessons we looked at two of the strange weapons (a tent peg and a cattle prod) which God used to defeat the enemies of His people when He was ready to deliver them from oppression. Today, I want to look at perhaps the strangest weapon of all: a pitcher.
The account of Gideon begins in Judges Chapter 6. Gideon was a simple farmer. His name meant “hewer” – possibly referring to someone who hacks down crops, wheat, or maybe weeds, or possibly referring to someone who hews out stones from a field during plowing. Little did Gideon know he would be called by God to hew down the enemy.
Gideon had a great deal of trouble accepting the fact that God was calling him to deliver his people.
And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.
He was the only one is his father’s house who did not worship Baal, but he was very reluctant to place his faith in God for such a big task. He kept requiring visible signs from the Lord.
And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.
The men of the city wanted to kill Gideon for what he had done, but God moved in his father’s heart, and he defended Gideon. Gideon finally became convinced that the Lord would get the victory over the Midianites through him. He called an army of 32,000 men to fight against 135,000 Midianites. However, God wanted Gideon’s army to be even smaller. First he narrowed it down to 10,000, then to only 300! Imagine: 135,000 against 300!
And on top of that the Lord designed one of the strangest battle strategies of all time:
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
Gideon gathered up some more troops, pursued, wiped out the Midianite army, and delivered God’s people. The pitchers used by Gideon’s army were instrumental in the victory, but they were very strange weapons. These days, as Christians, we are in a spiritual war that cannot be won in our own strength or power. However, our Lord is no less powerful now than He was in the days of the Judges. Next time, I want to compare Gideon’s pitchers to some of the strange weapons that we wield (and yield) in the power of God as we fight for His Kingdom today.