“And Jerubba’al (who is Gideon) rose early and all of the people who were with him encamped by the spring of Charod. And Midian encamped to the north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.”
When mounting an assault upon an enemy there are a number of important factors that give one a strategic advantage. One of the most significant being a source of water for the people and the animals. There is no way to haul enough in that will last any length of time, thus to center one’s base camp around a natural spring is a significant point.
One might counter and say, but is not God with them? Did not God bring forth water from a rock to provide for the Israelites in the wilderness and could he not do the same here? To answer, yes, God was with them and God could bring water from a rock to provide for the people. God could also simply keep their jugs filled as he would do with the widow’s oil during the time of Elijah. God could do that.
This raises an important question for people of faith. We know that the battle is the Lord’s and he will ultimately provide for his people and overthrow his enemies, but do we act on the assumption that God will always do miracles as such…or providential works even… The answer to the question is, no. God expects us to do our part and our part includes making plans and preparations to engage in whatever affair is before us. He is God and often he alters the events in ways that we cannot anticipate, but we still should act and labor wisely toward the goals that honor our God.
Often, Christians fall short in this. They take a mindset that in essence says, “If God wants it done, he will make it happen.” Yet, that is a mindset of disobedience as God says, “Go and do!” Often, I hear Christians say things like, “Things are getting bad in this world, I hope that Jesus comes again soon to make it all right.” While it is true that Jesus will make all things right when he comes again, until that happens, he has given the task to us. We are to seek justice and to tear down every spiritual stronghold of Satan in this world. And that means finding things like springs to set up camp around are important. Training for spiritual battle is important. And engaging the culture with the Truth of God’s Word is essential. Gideon’s choice of camps is a reminder of that.