So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands. And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
Now the same night it came about that the LORD said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands.
“But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp.” So he went with Purah his servant down to the outposts of the army that was in the camp.
Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore.
When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat.”
His friend replied, “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and all the camp into his hand.”
When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the LORD has given the camp of Midian into your hands.” (Judges 7:8-15)
The word of God was not sufficient for Gideon. He also needed words from his enemies. How come? Adam had God as a constant companion, and yet God said it wasn’t good for him to be alone. God had spoken through prophets for centuries, and yet he had to become human to really get humanity’s attention. We trust people we can see more than God whom we can’t.
The Amalekites were descended from Amalek, the grandson of Isaac’s son Esau (Genesis 36:15-16). They were a thorn in Israel’s side until the time of David; after that, they vanished from the pages of the Bible. Together with the Midianites, they were a source of suffering for the Israelites during the time of Gideon.
After his sizable army had been reduced to a mere three hundred by God, Gideon’s confidence in God’s mission was at a low ebb. He was fearful. Although he didn’t say anything to anyone, not even a prayer to God, God knew what was going on in his head. For most of us, hearing God tell us to do something would seem like enough; but in his case, he needed to hear an enemy’s dream. God knows what we need and he makes sure we get it.