First, it is helpful to understand who Gideon is. Gideon is a judge. A judge in the Old Testament was a person whom God raised up to deliver His people, the Israelites, from their enemies. A judge was a redeemer.
Second, it is helpful to understand who the 300 people are. The 300 people were Israelites who joined Gideon in the deliverance of Israel. Why only 300? In Judges 7:2 God says this to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.” God did not want the Israelites to be proud of their redemption. He wanted it to be clear that it is God who saves, not man. Therefore, God reduced the number of soldiers down to 300.
Third, who are these Midianites? The Midianites were a people group used by God against his own people. Judges 6:1, “The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. 2And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.”
Now what is interesting about the statement of “exhausted yet pursuing” is Judges 7:9, “That same night the LORD said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand.” Think about the word “given.” It is past tense. The defeat of the Midianites was as good as achieved in the providence of God. Having said that, Gideon and the 300 men still had to live out their destiny. And how did they live it out, “exhausted yet pursuing.”
Even though God was the one who saved Israel and even though it was as good as achieved, the 300 men poured themselves out in for the ordained purposes of God. They were not fatalistic, they were motivated. The promise of victory did not produce apathy, it produced action.
As Christians, this is how we should live our lives, exhausted yet pursuing the will of God. In Christ we already have victory. Our redemption is secured; our glory is inevitable. However, this should not produce apathy. It should produce action. We should be vigilant in driving out the sin (the Midianites) that remain in our lives and focus on the mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world. As our heads hit the pillow each night we should feel drained due to the pouring out of our lives for the sake of God and the sake of his people.
Imagine a local Church of 300 people exhausted yet pursuing the purposes of God. Actually, don't imagine it, pray for it, then live it. "therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:38).