Judges 7:5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. 6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. 7 And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place..
This passage of scripture teaches us that our characters are sometimes tested in very strange ways by common, everyday circumstances. In this instance, Gideon was hoping that an army could be put together to fight the amassed forces of the enemy, but before this could be done, the volunteers needed to be tested to see whether or not they were up to the task. And the test thus instituted by God was not one of physical fitness, with the military hopefuls doing hundreds of push ups, nor was it a standardized written test to see what their fighting skills and previous experiences were. The test consisted of the way they drank water, and this simple, unconventional screening by God was sufficient to separate the sheep from the goats.
Many Christians erroneously believe that God tests us on great and mighty issues, in which self must be exercised in man-made demonstrations of will power and endurance. But it is often the case that our mettle is tested in the very small, and seemingly insignificant things of life, in which serious character flaws, or strengths do surface, revealing to ourselves who we really are at the core. Those who bowed down upon their knees to drink had a lackadaisical attitude to life, and in real emergencies the same trait of character emerged. As they drank their water, they might have been reading the evening news in a casual manner, or they were probably found chatting about things that had nothing to do with the urgency of the moment, or worst yet, they were probably found texting while drinking.
The attitudes manifested by us in handling situations in the temporal realm, say a lot about who we are, for character development does not take place in the pews of a church, but instead occurs when the rubber meets the road, and the principles we espouse are interfaced with our daily experiences. A person who is nonchalant in temporal affairs, will also manifest the same spirit in spiritual things, for our habits run like a common thread throughout all that we do, and will ultimately affect anything under our jurisdiction. Let's read:
Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
Whenever we are tested in minute or larger situations, let us therefore be found faithful, and if for any reason discrepancies in our character-building emerge, let us never make excuses for our failures, but let us rather step up to the plate with confession and repentance, so that the deficiencies can be corrected promptly by the grace of God, and in cooperation with Him. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which encourages us to shoot for the stars, for God is able to bring the work He has begun in us to perfection, if we trust and work in conjunction with Him. Let's read:
Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute. 27 The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious. 28 In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
May God add His blessing to the study and practice of His word. "Good night" and God bless!