JUDGES 7:16-25

Judges 7:16
Dividing the forces would give the enemy a sense of being surrounded on three sides by Israelites in the hills.  Each sol?dier was issued three weapons:  a trumpet, an empty pitcher, and a lamp.  The trumpet, a curved horn from a cow or ram, was com?mon?ly used to give signals in battle.  The lamps were probably smol?dering torches.  The pitchers, made of earthenware, could easi?ly be broken.

Judges 7:17-18
Gideon’s master-plan is very simple:  deceive the Midianites into a panic.  Make them think countless thousands of Israelites are in the hills.
The Midianites had wielded a reign of terror seven years.  Now Gideon will destroy them with their own weapon.

Judges 7:19a
In Old Testament times, night was evidently divided into three watches of four hours each.  The division of night into four watches with three hours each was later adopted by the Jews from the Romans.
Gideon “attacked” in the midnight hours, immediately after the changing of the guard.  The darkness would make it impossible for the Midianites to know how small Gideon’s army really was.

Judges 7:19b-20a
Do not overlook the faith of the three hundred.  They had lamps in their left hand and trumpets in their right.  They were marching into battle with their hands full, and thus could not strike a blow.
The weapons succeeded.  The blast of three hundred trumpets made the Midianites think they were being attacked by three hun?dred armies.  The shattered pitchers sounded like thousands of well-armored troops clashing together.  The smoldering torches, suddenly bursting into flames, flashed light upon the Midianites like three hundred simultaneous bolts of lightning.  The moun?tains appeared to be on fire.

Judges 7:20b
The slogan first of all revealed in Whom they were trusting for victory; it secondly identified them as the army of Gideon.  Battle cries have been commonly used to inspire confidence in friends, and to incite fear in foes.  Richard the Lionhearted rallied his Crusaders with, “Remember the Holy City!”  Sam Hous?ton’s men cried, “Remember the Alamo!”  The Black Prince at Cressy stirred enthusiasm by yelling, “God defend the right!”

Judges 7:21a
By standing still, Gideon’s men gave the impression they were lighting the way for a numerous army advancing behind them.

Judges 7:21b
Gideon now had his longing fulfilled.  He had despaired due to not seeing the miracles of which his fathers had spoken (JG 6:13).  However, he was now able to see a nation destroyed by shouts and trumpet blasts, which was exactly what his forefathers had seen at Jericho (JS 6:20).

Judges 7:22a
Instead of advancing, Gideon’s men stood still and kept mak?ing noise.  The Midianites evidently assumed some Israelites had already entered the camp.  Suddenly, everything which moved was deemed an enemy.  They fought at random, unable to distinguish friend from foe.

Judges 7:22b
The places mentioned here cannot be located exactly, but it is obvious the Midianites were fleeing toward the Jordan.  They would have been slowed down by their baggage, which included flocks and herds.  Gideon, taking advantage of their slow pace, rallied soldiers from the surrounding area.

Judges 7:23
These were evidently the soldiers which had recently been dis?missed by Gideon.  They had not had enough time to travel far, and were possibly camped together nearby.  They now eagerly joined in the slaughter.

Judges 7:24
Ephraimites were able to cut off the Jordan passes.  This procedure essentially entrapped much of the Midianite army.

Judges 7:25
The Ephraimites captured two Midianite princes, Oreb (Raven) and Zeeb (Wolf).  Even as late as the early part of the twentieth century, a Bedouin tribe which lived southeast of the Jordan con?veyed upon its leader the hereditary title of Zeeb.
Oreb and Zeeb had the dubious honor of having the places of their slaughter named after them.  These exact sites are unknown.  The Ephraimites took Oreb and Zeeb’s heads to Gideon, who had crossed the Jordan and was chasing the kings of Midian (8:4-5).
Gideon overwhelmed his enemies.  The Lord wants believers, in a similar way, to vanquish their foes.  Christians are also engaged in a warfare, and their weapons are the same as those used by Gideon:

A trumpet to heed,
A light to blaze;
    A vessel to break,
A voice to raise.

The trumpet used by Gideon’s men was the one commonly used as a call to arms.  It was employed as the signal to commence fighting.  As Christians we must see ourselves as engaged in a never-ending war.  The evil one never ceases his assaults against us.  We are to abound in the work of the Lord “always” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Christians also have a lamp which must be kept trimmed and bright through all of life.  “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts” (2 Cor. 4:6).
Believers should live in such a way that Christ is obviously manifested through them.  Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (MT 5:16).
How do we allow our light to shine?  By breaking the vessel in which it is contained.  This light which has shined in our hearts is a treasure we have “in earthen vessels” (2 Cor. 4:7).  The Spirit of God indwells our bodies of clay.  The light often shines best when our pitcher is cracking beneath a load of trou?bles, perplexities, persecutions, setbacks, and dying.
We must view our bodies as vessels which need to be broken.  Our bodies are but earthen vessels in which the true treasure is housed.  The will of the flesh must be broken in order to let the treasure be displayed.
“I” tends to cloud the Lord’s glory.  Self must be gotten out of the way, that Christ may shine through us.  We should be “bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Cor. 4:10).
The fourth weapon of our warfare is our voice.  Speech is the vehicle by which the gospel of Christ is carried into the world.  Our message is transmitted by the sound of human voices.
Above all else, we are called to be witnesses, which re?quires the voice of testimony.  You are a messenger with tidings to tell.
Christian soldier, remember the weapons of your warfare:

A trumpet to heed,
A light to blaze;
A vessel to break,
A voice to raise.