And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.”  So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley. Judges 7:7-8

Before there was the Greek city-state of Sparta and their mighty King Leonidas, there was Gideon. Three hundred soldiers up against an army more numerous than the desert sand. To any military strategist, or any man eying the situation, these were not even close to fair odds. God wanted it this way. Imagine being among the three hundred men, looking down over a sea of soldiers camped in the valley. In this situation, the heart’s of most men would melt like wax.

God’s reasoning for this matchup was very simple: bragging rights. Earlier in verse two, God says, ““The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’” I hope you notice the interesting tension here. God wants to use men to accomplish great things, but he does not want any man to take credit for salvation. Only God saves.

God’s man balances fear, faith, and bragging rights in an appropriate way. Fearing God and placing faith in Him is the only path to victory. Giving God credit is the only appropriate response to any victory. No man saves himself, and in this story, God clearly illustrates this point.

DO THIS TODAY: Start placing both fear and faith in the saving work of God. Give Him credit.