En Harod (Gideon’s Spring)

The spring of Harod still flows today from the mouth of a cave at the foot of Mount Gilboa where water refreshed innumerable travelers through the Harod Valley. En Harod (pronounced ine har-ode) entered the biblical record with Gideon’s battle in Judges 7.

God promised Gideon a great victory, yet the doubtful judge requested a sign. Assur-ance of God’s promises doesn’t negate the circumstances that force us to trust Him. Gideon’s fleece didn’t cause the Midianites to disappear; Gideon still had to trust God for deliverance. From his position, Gideon could see the 135,000 Midianites ready to fight him.

Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. (Judges 7:4–5)

The reduction of Gideon’s army wasn’t just to glorify God by winning the battle with only three hundred men. The action also put Gideon in a position where his fear would be exposed. Gideon sought security with the fleece, and though God granted that request, He immediately countered by putting Gideon in an even more precarious position. If Gideon struggled to trust God at 4-to-1 odds, how would he react to 450-to-1 odds?

Some situations today will seem as bleak, hopeless, inadequate, and pointless as Gideon’s seemed to him. Circumstances (and emotions) may scream that “on this particular issue God’s Word must not apply!” But our confidence must remain in God’s Word, not in our circumstances. And to help us understand that, God will take us places to free us from fear and convince us He can do what He promises.¹

  1. Adapted from Wayne Stiles, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey through the Lands of the Bible (Ventura, Calif.: Regal, 2006). Used by permission.
  2. Photo courtesy of bibleplaces.com