One day Gideon and all his men got up early and camped beside Harod Spring. The Midianite camp was in the valley to the north of them by Moreh Hill The LORD said Gideon, "The men you have are too many for me to give them victory over the Midianites. They might think that they had won by themselves, and so give me no credit. Announce to the people, "Anyone who is afraid should go back home, and we will stay here at Mount Gilead.' " So twenty-two thousand went back, but ten thousand stayed.
Then the LORD said to Gideon, "You still have too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will separate them for you there. If I tell you a man should go with you, he will go. If I tell you a man should not go with you, he will not go." Gideon took the men down to the water, and the LORD told him, "Separate everyone who laps up the water with his tongue like a dog, from everyone who gets down on his knees to drink." There were three hundred men who scooped up water in their hands and lapped it; all the others got down on their knees to drink. The LORD said to Gideon, "I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites with the three hundred men who lapped the water. Tell everyone else to go home. So Gideon sent all the Israelites home, except the three hundred, who kept all the supplies and trumpets.
The Midianite camp was below them in the valley. That night the LORD commanded Gideon, "Get up and attack the camp; I am giving you victory over it. But if you are afraid to attack go down to the camp with your servant Purah. You will hear what they are saying and then you will have the courage to attack." So Gideon and his servant Purah went down to the edge of the enemy camp. The Midianites, the Amalekites, and the desert tribesman were spread out in the valley like a swarm of locusts, and they had as many camels as there are grains of sand on the seashore.
When Gideon arrived, he heard a man telling a friend about a dream. he was saying, "I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread rolled into our camp and hit a tent. The tent collapsed and lay flat on the ground." His friend replied, "It's the sword of the Israelite, Gideon son of Joash! It can't mean anything else! God has given him victory over Midian and our whole army!" When Gideon heard about the man's dream and what it meant, he fell to his knees. Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, "Get up! The LORD is giving you victory over the Midianite army!"
He divided his three hundred men into three groups and gave each man a trumpet and a jar with a torch inside it. He told them, "When I get to the edge of the camp, watch me, and do what I do. When my group and I blow our trumpets, then you blow yours all around the camp and shout, 'For the LORD and for Gideon!'
Gideon and his one hundred men came to the edge of the camp a while before midnight, just after the guard had been changed. Then they blew the trumpets and broke the jars they were holding, and the other two groups did the same. They all held the torches in their left hands, the trumpets in their right, and shouted,
"A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!"
Every man stood in his place around the camp, and the whole enemy army ran away yelling. While Gideon's men were blowing their trumpets, the LORD made the enemy troops attack each other with their swords. They ran toward Zarethan as far as Beth Shittah, as far as the town of Abel Meholah near Tabbath. Then men from the tribes of Naphtali, Asher, and both parts of Manasseh were called out, and they pursed the Midianites.
Gideon sent messengers through all the hill country of Ephraim to say, "Come down and fight the Midianites. Hold the Jordan River and the streams as far as Bethbarah, to keep the Midianites from crossing them." The men of Ephraim were called together, and they held the Jordan River and the stream as far as Bethbarah, They captured the two Midianite chiefs, Oreb and Zeeb; they killed Oreb at Oreb Rock, and Zeeb at the Winepress of Zeeb. They continued to pursue the Midianites and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was now east of the Jordan. -- Judges, Chapter 7.
Note that 300 men were not all that was required for the victory, but all that was required to BEGIN the victory process. I was reminded of Gideon when the hour hand of my watch at Horse Pens 40 yesterday pointed to noon and there were darn few folks there.
This photo from afterward does not show everyone who was there but certainly most of them.
I could have been discouraged, but I was not. Everyone who was supposed to be there, was there, I figured. For every hundred persons who found a reason not to be there, there was one whom God found a way to guide there. One impressive young man came from Panama City FL. A couple from Georgia who had intended to go to the one in Atlanta and were running late, realized that they could pick up an hour crossing the time line into the Central Zone, so they came to ours. A couple of guys from Alabama Open Carry got there late because they had to wait until one of them got off work. Everyone contributed something in the discussions before and after the speeches (there were only two, Alvie's and mine).
As I talked after the speeches to the sole reporter who showed up -- from Reuters -- conversations were going on all around me, people were exchanging views, linking up, making plans. It was generally agreed that this would be just the first of quarterly Alabama RTC's.
One topic of discussion was what we need to demand of the new Alabama Legislature next year -- things like Vermont Carry, Castle Doctrine extended to vehicles, an Alabama Firearm Freedom Act. We also talked about armed civil disobedience strategies and tactics. The AOC guys have already been doing some of that. We need to have more, but part of a carefully targeted strategy aimed at pushing the legislative process forward.
So take a look at that photo again. You may still see weakness. I see strength.
PS One final note. The Schultz family who live at HP40 were outstanding in their logistical support of the rally. Everyone who came said that they would return with their families another day, so beautiful and impressive was the venue. No one who paid the $5.00 per day user fee griped about it afterward. There were hundreds of rock climbers there -- most of them hoplophobes -- and yet we had no trouble whatsoever. And I must say, the cheeseburger I had there at the restaurant was the best cheeseburger I ever ate. (Don't tell Rosey.)