Author: Dr. Yvonne Huggins Mclean
WITHSTANDING THE HEAT
Judges 7:4-7 And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; take them down to the water and I will test them for you there; and he of whom I say to you, ‘This man shall go with you,’ shall go with you; and any of whom I say to you, ‘This man shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water; and the LORD said to Gideon, “Every one that laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself; likewise every one that kneels down to drink.” And the number of those that lapped, putting their hands to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will deliver you…and let all the others go every man to his home.” [Revised Standard translation]
In Judges 7 GOD prepared Gideon for the heat of battle against the great army of the Midianites. Gideon starts off with about 22,000 men. GOD makes it clear to Gideon, in the beginning of Judges 7, that it will be HE, GOD, who will deliver them. And, so that no one should boast it was the strength of the Israelites that won the battle, GOD tells Gideon to winnow down the army. Gideon first gets rid of those “who are fearful and trembling.” (Verse 3) ---and 12,000 go home. When Gideon shows his 10,000-men army to GOD, there are still too many for GOD. GOD devises a test for Gideon to administer to his army. GOD tells Gideon to take the men to the water. Those that lap like dogs, putting their hand to their mouth were to go into one group. Those that bowed down to drink water went into the other. At the end of the test, the lappers numbered 300. GOD sent the rest home.
There is a lot of speculation why the 300 passed the test and the others did not. There are lots of theories. Some speculate that those who lapped with one hand cupped to their mouth had their other hand on their sword, proving how vigilant they would be in battle. Some speculate that those who stood lapping would have been scanning the area with their eyes as they drank; proving that they were more watchful and more ready than those who bent down on their knees and drank looking down in the water. Some speculated that those who looked in the water, were probably enjoying their reflection in the water or that perhaps they were used to falling on their knees to worship the idol, Baal. Some speculate that those who lapped like dogs were more out-doors type or were likely to be more energetic than the kneelers. What we do know is that it was GOD’s test. GOD’s thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8.) Each was tested. Only some were selected for battle. Only some withstood the heat of battle. All of the soldiers, including Gideon, had to rely on their faith. In the end, the victory belonged to GOD.
Tips For Working Out in The Heat
Penn Medicine offers a number of useful tips that may be helpful in working out in hot weather. Here are just a few:
Stay Hydrated With The Right Fluids – Generally water is “your best friend” on a hot day; however, if you plan to exercise more than 60 minutes you may consider a sport drink.
Wear Light Clothing – Bright colors will reflect the sun. Cotton is light- weight and generally affordable. There are also sweat-wicking clothes if you are willing to pay more.
Timing Is Everything – 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. is known for being the hottest time of the day in the summer. If you exercise outdoors, consider exercising before or after this time frame.
Take It Indoors- On hot days consider working out indoors.
Know Your Limits- Listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, nauseous or tired give yourself a break or take a rest.
See, “8 Tips for Working Out in the Heat,” https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/musculoskeletal-and-rheumatology/2017/july/tips-for-working-out-in-heat.
Indoor Exercises - High Knees
High Knees - Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder width apart. Drive up one knee then the other toward your torso, keeping your shoulders and back straight and your gaze straight ahead. Pump your opposite arm as you move. Continue to move for about 60 seconds.
High Knees – variation - lean against a wall with your hands about shoulder height in front of you, palms down. Keep your back as straight as possible. Try to touch your knees to your hands. Try not to lower your hands. Move for about 60 seconds. Next move your hands to the corners and point your toes toward the corners. Alternate raising your knees for about 60 seconds.
High knees/Chair Position – variation –Find a sturdy chair. Keep your back straight. Let your hands hang down and hold onto the sides of your chair if that helps you maintain your posture. Point your toes straight ahead and raise up each knee toward your hands without bending over. Continue to move about 60 seconds. Next point your toes toward the corners at a 45-degree angle. Again, hold on to the chair if that helps with your posture. Again, raise up your knees for about 60 seconds.
You should consult your personal physician if you have medical issues, are on medication, have balance problems, experience dizziness or have other medical concerns. Your physician should be able to answer your questions about the best exercise for you or address your medical concerns.
Withstanding the Heat/Passing the Test
Everyone in GOD’s “army” is tested too. Sometimes the tests “make sense” to us. Sometimes they don’t. We have to remember that we belong to GOD and GOD will be victorious in the end. We are GOD’s
No matter what test you are enduring or are encountering, remember, the victory is GOD’s!
So today, drink---drink of GOD’s GOODNESS, stay super hydrated and BE BLESSED!