I doubt a military commander in history has consulted the Bible on battle strategy. If they had, we may be bearing trumpets rather than arms or significantly reducing our numbers in hopes of a win. It’s amazing what a little supernatural power and the almighty hand of God can make possible. Are you ready for three of the craziest battle plans of the Old Testament?
1. One Shout Destroys a City
So, we’re in Joshua 6 and the Israelites are well and truly on the way to taking the Promised Land. Poor Jericho, they had no chance against God’s chosen people. So instead of going the usual “invade and destroy” route, Israel decides to do something a little more spectacular. Joshua doesn't even have to come up with a plan, its all delivered by the voice of God. And here it is. Walk around the walls 6 times and on the 7th time - wait for it - just shout really loudly. And they do. Joshua happens to be a legend, but it turns out you don’t really need much military prowess to take a city. You just need a healthy dose of “do what you’re told.” Oh, and worship. And sing. And shout. And voila! A battle won, a city taken….and plundered…but that’s another story. (Will they ever learn?)
2. Lepers Win the Battle
The second most bizarre battle plan comes from no planning at all, just a lot of self-preservation. Then again, when you’re a leper, you really have nothing to lose. Personally, I quite like it when God uses an outcast. And that’s saying nothing about me personally. The lepers go over to the enemy camp because, hey, their city is in famine and they’re the last people to get a spare scrap given they’re universally hated and dying anyway. So they hobble over, and arrive at a completely deserted camp. Why? Because God decided to have a little fun. Every footstep they took, he supernaturally filled with the deafening sound of chariots, horses and a huge army. He literally terrified the army away. Man, those lepers must have felt powerful. The moral of the story? Literally. Anyone. Can. Do. It.
3. The Tumbleweed that said it all
Oh the most bizarre of all, we have Gideon. Bless him, so ridiculously terrified and yet so relentlessly called. We all know he hid in the winepress, God called him a “mighty man of valour” which was a genuine surprise to all, least of all him. But my favourite moment is when he sneaks into the enemy camp and overhears the army talking about him. “I dreamt of a tumbleweed” says the commander. “Oh that is none other than Gideon!” his friend proclaims. “He’s come to destroy us all!” Really? We got that from a tumbleweed? And just like that, they give up.
All I’m saying - it seems we don’t need to fight at all. If we play our cards right with God, it’s possible to scare away any enemy with some loud noises and a tumbleweed.