‘BRING THEM DOWN TO THE WATER, AND I WILL TEST THEM.’ JUDGES 7:4 NKJV
If somebody keeps refusing to support you, let them go; or you’ll wish you had. This is especially hard to accept if you’re a nurturer by nature, somebody who’s invested in making relationships work, come what may. You can’t convert the fearful into the faithful. That’s God’s job, and His ‘water test’ showed Gideon who He could count on and who He couldn’t. God told Gideon: ‘You have too large an army…they’ll take…credit…make (an)…announcement: ‘Anyone…who has any qualms…may leave’…Twenty-two companies headed…home. Ten…were left. God said… ‘There are still too many. Take them down to the stream and I’ll make a final cut” (v. 2-4).
When the opposition is arrayed against you like ‘sand of the seashore'(v. 12) it is often the time when you lose the most support. Don’t worry, God is at work. During the first cut, when Joshua lost 22,000 men, what looked like a set-back was actually a set-up from God to determine who was dependable. ‘Gideon took the troops down to the stream… Three hundred lapped…from their cupped hands…the rest knelt to drink. God said… “I’ll use the three hundred…to…give Midian into your hands”‘ (v. 5-7). We learn two lessons from this story:
1) You need to be able to see your enemy approaching. Those who knelt to drink, sacrifice their vision to satisfy their immediate need.
2) When God reduces your support, it’s to give you a miraculous victory. It’s to show how somebody without formal credentials can run a company, or somebody who’s lost everything can make a comeback. So when the people around you can’t pass God’s ‘water test,’ let them go and trust God. He has something better in mind.