Men who lap water like a dog!

“‭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,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Judges 7:19-20.

The reason why every man who lapped‭‭ water‭ with his tongue‭, as a dog‭ laps‭‭, verse 5, were chosen by the Lord as those by whom He would deliver Israel under Gideon’s leadership, is very simple to understand when we consider their posture and that of the others who were rejected. The majority of those who rallied to Gideon’s call drank in a manner described in verse 5. They boweth down‬‬‬‬‬ upon their knees‭ to drink‭‭.‬‬‬‬‬

The majority bowed right down with their mouth to the water. In that position, they displayed that their sole intent at that moment was to satisfy their thirst. On the other hand the three hundred scooped up water in their hand and “putting‭ their hand‭ to their mouth‬‬”, drank.

The latter group remained on watch, conscious of the nearness of the enemy while the larger group ignored the enemy and gave themselves to drinking. It was this distinction that decided the Lord’s choice. God wants those who are totally occupied with the purpose for which we have been called by Him. There is only a minority of the ‘Israelites’ who answered the call, who have this character and it is them the Lord uses in the battle!

The stream flowing from the Well at Harod. (Photograph taken on a visit to Israel in 2010.)

What an honour was bestowed upon these three hundred! Doubtless, there would have been those who felt they demeaned themselves by adopting the posture of a dog, a creature deemed unclean in Israel. Likewise those who have the spirit of the three hundred are ‘looked down’ on today, indeed have alway been considered so! You cannot stand for Christ without “bearing His reproach”, Hebrews 13:13. Such has been the view taken by the world of the Saviour and His chiefest servants. As Paul said of himself and all of his spirit: “‭We‭ ‭are‭ fools‭ for‭‭ Christ’s‭ sake‭, but‭ ye‭ ‭are‭ wise‭ in‭ Christ‭; we‭ ‭are‭ weak‭, but‭ ye‭ ‭are‭ strong‭; ye‭ ‭are‭ honourable‭, but‭ we‭ ‭are‭ despised‭.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ ‭Even‭ unto this present‭ hour‭ we‭‭ both‭ hunger‭‭, and‭ thirst‭‭, and‭ are naked‭‭, and‭ are buffeted‭‭, and‭ have no certain dwellingplace‭‭;‭ ‭And‭ labour‭‭, working‭‭ with our own‭ hands‭: being reviled‭‭, we bless‭‭; being persecuted‭‭, we suffer it‭‭:‭ ‭Being defamed‭‭, we intreat‭‭: we are made‭‭ as‭ the filth‭ of the world‭, ‭and are‭ the offscouring‭ of all things‭ unto‭ this day‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 1 Corinthians 4:10-13.

Yes, others joined in when the final rout of the Midianites and their allies took place, but the three hundred had the eternal honour of being to the fore in the great victory.

In the verses we wish to consider, please note these simple observations.


Gideon’s attack took place “in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch”. These words, as do all the words inspired of God and recorded for our learning, inform us of a number of things.

1. It was late evening when the ‘middle watch’ commenced. I understand that ‘watch’ took place between the hours of and 2.00 am. Given the much earlier sunset and sunrise in Israel than that we are used to in Ulster, it was the very middle of the night, the time of sleep. Here in Northern Ireland, at this time of the year, we are used to quite bright ‘twilight’ up to 10.00 pm and after that hour. Indeed, last night the sun did not set until 9.45pm and naturally it remained quite bright for a considerable time afterwards.

In the camp of the Midianites the attack began then in the hour of deepest slumber.

2. It was at a time when they had ‘newly set the watch.’ Such a changeover of the guard is always a time of lessened alertness and and watchfulness. Greetings would have been taking place between the members of the retired guard and those taking up their duty. There would have been matters that required the immediate attention of the oncoming guards as they assumed their duty. All of this would have engendered a lesser degree of watchfulness than would have been the case but a short time after the new guard settled down to its duties.

So it is ever when the Lord comes upon men in judgment. It is at a time when they least expect it! This will be clearly evidenced by the circumstances that will be prevailing in this world when Christ returns. Paul describes that day and the state of the unbeliever. “‭For‭ yourselves‭ know‭‭ perfectly‭ that‭ the day‭ of the Lord‭ so‭ cometh‭‭ as‭ a thief‭ in‭ the night‭.‭ ‭For‭ when‭ they shall say‭‭, Peace‭ and‭ safety‭; then‭ sudden‭ destruction‭ cometh upon‭‭ them‭, as‭ travail‭ upon‭ a woman with child‭‭‭; and‭ they shall‭‭ not‭ escape‭‭.‭ ‭But‭ ye‭, brethren‭, are‭‭ not‭ in‭ darkness‭, that‭ that day‭ should overtake‭‭ you‭ as‭ a thief‭.‭ ‭Ye‭ are‭‭ all‭ the children‭ of light‭, and‭ the children‭ of the day‭: we are‭‭ not‭ of the night‭, nor‭ of darkness‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5.

The spirit of those who “lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth,” ought be ours so that we are ever watchful for the return of Christ and not like those Midianites who were careless and caught unawares!

3. We can imagine the alarm amongst the Midianites when the thee hundred trumpets were furiously blown and the shout that followed. Again, there is set before us a preview of the impact upon the ungodly, particularly the followers of Antichrist, at the return of Christ.

“‭For‭ this‭ we say‭‭ unto you‭ by‭ the word‭ of the Lord‭, that‭ we‭ which‭ are alive‭‭ ‭and‭ remain‭‭ unto‭ the coming‭ of the Lord‭ shall‭‭ not‭ prevent‭‭ (precede) them which‭ are asleep‭‭.‭ ‭For‭ the Lord‭ himself‭ shall descend‭‭ from‭ heaven‭ with‭ a shout‭, with‭ the voice‭ of the archangel‭, and‭ with‭ the trump‭ of God‭: and‭ the dead‭ in‭ Christ‭ shall rise‭‭ first‭:‭ ‭then‭ we‭ which‭ are alive‭‭ ‭and‭ remain‭‭ shall be caught up‭‭ together‭ with‭ them‭ in‭ the clouds‭, to‭ meet‭ the Lord‭ in‭ the air‭: and‭ so‭ shall we‭‭ ever‭ be‭‭ with‭ the Lord‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

What a day of consternation is fast approaching this world!


1. Please note that no weapons were in the hands of the Israelites! It is stated that they “held‭‭ the lamps‭ in their left‭ hands‭, and the trumpets‭ in their right‭ hands‬‬‬‬‬‬‬.” They had no hands free to grip a sword. Instead, that day the “sword‭ of the LORD‬” was at work! The Israelites “‭stood‭‭ every man‭ in his place round about‭ the camp‬‬‬‬‬,” verse 21. They did not need a sword.

Oh friends, those that “lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth,” and who “‭‭seek . . .‭‭ first‭ the kingdom‭ of God‭, and‭ his‭ righteousness‭,‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ (Matthew 6:33)‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ shall find the Lord will fight for them, and that is a most wonderful way!

‭‭‭‭‭‭“The LORD‬‬‬‬‬ set‭‭ every man’s‭ sword‭ against his fellow‭, even throughout all the host‭: and the host‭ fled‭‭ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬,” verse 22.

As ‭‭‭Zechariah‭, the son‭ of Benaiah‭,‬‬‬‬‬‬ said in the power of the Holy Spirit to Judah long ago: “‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭Hearken‭‭ ye, all Judah‭, and ye inhabitants‭‭ of Jerusalem‭, and thou king‭ Jehoshaphat‭, Thus saith‭‭ the LORD‭ unto you, Be not afraid‭‭ nor dismayed‭‭ by reason‭ of this great‭ multitude‭; for the battle‭ ‭is‭ not yours, but God’s‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 2 Chronicles 20:15.

Let this truth stay up your spirit is these days of intensifying battle.

2. We do need to have in our hands the lamp of the gospel light and the trumpet of truth. I can vividly see in my mind the passionate waving of the lamps and the spirited blowing of the trumpets. Remember these would have been ‘rams’ horns’. They are not really capable of producing what men might consider ‘a tune’! It would have simply been termed a ‘blaring sound’! Such is the sound of the witness of the Christian in the ears of world, an annoying and vexatious noise! This is the reason why ‘open-air’ gospel witnesses are so often opposed by those who ‘pass by’. Thus the Saviour’s witness was mocked. “‭And‭ many‭ of‭ them‭ said‭‭, He hath‭‭ a devil‭, and‭ is mad‭‭; why‭ hear ye‭‭ him‭?‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ John 10:20. Likewise poor old Jeremiah was despised. Two lying false prophets in his day, ‭“‭‭‭‭‭‭Ahab‭ the son‭ of Kolaiah‭, and . . . Zedekiah‭ the son‭ of Maaseiah‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬”‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭, had written against God’s faithful servant saying: ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬“‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭every man‭ ‭that is‭ mad‭‭, and maketh himself a prophet‭‭, that thou shouldest put‭‭ him in prison‭, and in the stocks‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Jeremiah 29:21, 26. Paul’s preaching was likewise deemed madness. “‭And‭ as he‭ thus‭ spake for himself‭‭, Festus‭ said‭‭ with a loud‭ voice‭, Paul‭, thou art beside thyself‭‭; much‭ learning‭ doth make‭‭ thee‭ mad‭‭.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬” We should memorise Paul’s reply! ‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬“‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭But‭ he said‭‭, I am‭‭ not‭ mad‭‭, most noble‭ Festus‭; but‭ speak forth‭‭ the words‭ of truth‭ and‭ soberness‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Acts 26:24-25.

The gospel makes no sense to the ungodly man. Rather, as Paul wrote, “‭For‭ the preaching‭ of the cross‭ is‭‭ to them‭ that perish‭‭ foolishness‭; but‭ unto us‭ which are saved‭‭ it is‭‭ the power‭ of God‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬,‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 1 Corinthians 1:18.

Just like the apparently foolish waving of lamps in the air and the blaring of the trumpets that day of victory over the Midianites!

3. However the actions of Gideon’s men may have been seen by the enemy, it was the signal for the Lord to act! “‭And the three‭ hundred‭ blew‭‭ the trumpets‭, and the LORD‭ set‭‭ every man’s‭ sword‭ against his fellow‭, even throughout all the host‭: and the host‭ fled‭‭ to Bethshittah‭ in Zererath‭, ‭and‭ to the border‭ of Abelmeholah‭, unto Tabbath‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Judges 7:22.

I have long believed that no matter how foolish a protest mounted in defence of God’s truth and honour may appear to gospel critics, the Lord will see it as a signal to move in support of those who act so. That was the experience of the Free Presbyterian Church in past days of blessing and victory.

All too many Christians today see such protests through the eyes of unbelieving men and deem them a waste of time and something to be forsaken, since it make them appear foolish.

By doing so, they cease sending to God in heaven the message that there is a concern for His glory here on earth and fail to signal Him to come to their aid.

I suggest that herein lies the cause of the present state of ineffectiveness amongst the people of God!


1. The actions of the three hundred, stirred up many thousands in Israel. “‭And the men‭ of Israel‭ gathered themselves together‭‭ out of Naphtali‭, and out of Asher‭, and out of all Manasseh‭, and pursued‭‭ after‭ the Midianites‭.‭ ‭And Gideon‭ sent‭‭ messengers‭ throughout all mount‭ Ephraim‭, saying‭‭, Come down‭‭ against‭‭ the Midianites‭, and take‭‭ before them the waters‭ unto Bethbarah‭ and Jordan‭. Then all the men‭ of Ephraim‭ gathered themselves together‭‭, and took‭‭ the waters‭ unto Bethbarah‭ and Jordan‭.‭ ‭And they took‭‭ two‭ princes‭ of the Midianites‭, Oreb‭ and Zeeb‭; and they slew‭‭ Oreb‭ upon the rock‭ Oreb‭, and Zeeb‭ they slew‭‭ at the winepress‭ of Zeeb‭, and pursued‭‭ Midian‭, and brought‭‭ the heads‭ of Oreb‭ and Zeeb‭ to Gideon‭ on the other side‭ Jordan‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Judges 7:23-25.

So it is ever the case! God stirs a few and by their faithful obedience, many are stirred to act in like obedience. It happened after David’s victory over Goliath. “‭Therefore David‭ ran‭‭, and stood‭‭ upon the Philistine‭, and took‭‭ his sword‭, and drew‭‭ it out of the sheath‭ thereof, and slew‭‭ him, and cut off‭‭ his head‭ therewith. And when the Philistines‭ saw‭‭ their champion‭ was dead‭‭, they fled‭‭.‭ ‭And the men‭ of Israel‭ and of Judah‭ arose‭‭, and shouted‭‭, and pursued‭‭ the Philistines‭, until thou come‭‭ to the valley‭, and to the gates‭ of Ekron‭. And the wounded‭ of the Philistines‭ fell down‭‭ by the way‭ to Shaaraim‭, even unto Gath‭, and unto Ekron‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ 1 Samuel 17:51-52.

Dare I say that the 1960 and 1970s here in Ulster, in like manner illustrate this truth to some degree.

2. There was a significant ‘completeness’ to the victory wrought that day. The Midianites are not mentioned again in Scripture, save in the two references to the events of the day of Gideon’s victory.

In that we have a foretaste of the utter defeat of all the enemies of God’s people to which we can look forward. The removal of the Midianite that day was as the wiping out of the ungodly by the flood and the future from God’s creation. Remember what we read in Revelation 21:5-8. “‭And‭ he that sat‭‭ upon‭ the throne‭ said‭‭, Behold‭‭, I make‭‭ all things‭ new‭. And‭ he said‭‭ unto me‭, Write‭‭: for‭ these‭ words‭ are‭‭ true‭ and‭ faithful‭.‭ ‭And‭ he said‭‭ unto me‭, It is done‭‭. I‭ am‭‭ Alpha‭ and‭ Omega‭, the beginning‭ and‭ the end‭. I‭ will give‭‭ unto him that is athirst‭‭ of‭ the fountain‭ of the water‭ of life‭ freely‭.‭ ‭He that overcometh‭‭ shall inherit‭‭ all things‭; and‭ I will be‭‭ his‭ God‭, and‭ he‭ shall be‭‭ my‭ son‭.‭ ‭But‭ the fearful‭, and‭ unbelieving‭, and‭ the abominable‭‭, and‭ murderers‭, and‭ whoremongers‭, and‭ sorcerers‭, and‭ idolaters‭, and‭ all‭ liars‭, shall have their‭ part‭ in‭ the lake‭ which‭ burneth‭‭ with fire‭ and‭ brimstone‭: which is‭‭ the second‭ death‭.‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬


1. The significance of that victory in set forth in two other Scriptures.

“‭Make‭‭ their nobles‭ like Oreb‭, and like Zeeb‭: yea, all their princes‭ as Zebah‭, and as Zalmunna‭:‭ ‭Who said‭‭, Let us take to ourselves the houses‭ of God‭ in possession‭‭.‭ ‭O my God‭, make‭‭ them like a wheel‭; as the stubble‭ before‭ the wind‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Psalm 83:11-13.

Without going into details, this Psalm, like so many Psalms, presents to us in prophetic form, the cry of the Jew in a future day when he and his land are under dire threat by the forces of the Antichrist. The very first verse sets the tone and suggests the period spoken of prophetically.

The Jew one day will pray for God’s help against the onslaught of the armies of the Antichrist. The opening verses of Zechariah chapter 12, give us clear details of that future attack. In that day, there will be in Israel a remnant who will call upon the Lord, guided and directed in their prayers by the Bible’s history of God’s former mercies to them in times of distress.

Thus in Psalm 83, verses 11-13, there is mention made of the victory given to Gideon. Against their enemies in a future day the Jew will pray: “‭Make‭‭ their nobles‭ like Oreb‭, and like Zeeb‭: yea, all their princes‭ as Zebah‭, and as Zalmunna‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬.”

I have already stated that the slaying of these two Midianite princes marked the cessation of all mention of the Midianites in Scripture. They never posed a threat to Israel again.

In like manner, God will answer the future cry of the Jewish remnant and intervene on their behalf more gloriously than He has ever done before, even though all His past interventions have been most glorious indeed.

It will be a day of glorious triumph and also of glorious mercy and salvation for the surviving remnant. Here is but a small quote from Zechariah that deals with the events surrounding Christ’s return.

“‭In that day‭ shall the LORD‭ defend‭‭ the inhabitants‭‭ of Jerusalem‭; and he that is feeble‭‭ among them at that day‭ shall be as David‭; and the house‭ of David‭ ‭shall be‭ as God‭, as the angel‭ of the LORD‭ before‭ them.‭ ‭And it shall come to pass in that day‭, ‭that‭ I will seek‭‭ to destroy‭‭ all the nations‭ that come‭‭ against Jerusalem‭.‭ ‭And I will pour‭‭ upon the house‭ of David‭, and upon the inhabitants‭‭ of Jerusalem‭, the spirit‭ of grace‭ and of supplications‭: and they shall look‭‭ upon me whom they have pierced‭‭, and they shall mourn‭ for him, as one mourneth‭‭ for ‭his‭ only‭ ‭son‭, and shall be in bitterness‭‭ for him, as one that is in bitterness‭‭ for ‭his‭ firstborn‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Zechariah 12:8-10.

2. The second scripture is found in Isaiah chapter 10. “‭And the LORD‭ of hosts‭ shall stir up‭‭ a scourge‭ for him according to the slaughter‭ of Midian‭ at the rock‭ of Oreb‭: and ‭as‭ his rod‭ ‭was‭ upon the sea‭, so shall he lift it up‭‭ after the manner‭ of Egypt‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ verse 26.

The pronoun, ‘him’ is a reference to the Antichrist. The chapter deals prophetically with a future “‭‭‭day‭ of visitation‭,‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ verse 3.

It refers to the future Antichrist under the title, “‭O‭ Assyrian‭, the rod‭ of mine anger‭, and the staff‭ in their hand‭ is mine indignation‭,‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Isaiah 10:5. The Assyrian Empire was originally founded by a Semitic king named Tiglath-Pileser who lived from 1116 to 1078 B.C. Around 745 B.C., the Assyrians came under the control of a ruler naming himself Tiglath-Pileser III. This man united the Assyrian people and launched a stunningly successful military campaign. Over the years, Tiglath-Pileser III saw his armies victorious against a number of major civilisations.

At its peak, the Assyrian Empire stretched across the Persian Gulf to Armenia in the north, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, and into Egypt in the south. The capital city of this great empire was Nineveh — the same Nineveh God commanded Jonah to visit before and after he was swallowed by the whale.

Things began to unravel for the Assyrians after 700 B.C. In 626, the Babylonians broke away from Assyrian control and established their independence as a people once again. Around 14 years later, the Babylonian army destroyed Nineveh and effectively ended the Assyrian Empire and thus the Babylonian empire was born.

The ‘Assyrian’ and later, the ‘Babylonian’, were instruments of judgment, Assyria against Israel and later, Babylon against the southern kingdom of Judah. As such, both were pictures of the Antichrist who will likewise be the final instrument of judgment against the Jew, just prior to the Saviour’s return.

As the Midianite was God’s afflicting agent upon a sinful Israel as is made clear in these verses: “‭And the children‭ of Israel‭ did‭‭ evil‭ in the sight‭ of the LORD‭: and the LORD‭ delivered‭‭ them into the hand‭ of Midian‭ seven‭ years‭.‭ ‭And the hand‭ of Midian‭ prevailed‭‭ against Israel‭: ‭and‭ because‭ of the Midianites‭ the children‭ of Israel‭ made‭‭ them the dens‭ which ‭are‭ in the mountains‭, and caves‭, and strong holds‭, ‭”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ Judges 6:1-2, so it will be prior to the Saviour’s return when He will ready His ancient people by chastening them severely under Antichrist.

What the Lord did to Midian, He is going to do, to a much greater degree, to Antichrist and his forces. It will be ‘‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭the rock‭ of Oreb‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬’ all over again and ‘‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭‭his rod‭ ‭was‭ upon the sea‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬’, adding a further type of that future victory, as an illustration of the ‘great Day of the Lord.’

Christian, there is a simple lesson for us to learn. Since the Lord has ’sprinkled’ the record of Holy Scripture with so many typical and prophetic likenesses of the coming of Christ, ought we not to heed this emphasis and seek to study closely this holy and joyful subject, which sadly is so gravely neglected both in pulpit and pew!

Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)
25th July 2023