Day Twelve: Gideon Pt. 3
Written by Ian Prentice
Soon afterward the armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel and crossed the Jordan, camping in the valley of Jezreel. Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power.
Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” And that is just what happened. When Gideon got up early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung out a whole bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Please don’t be angry with me, but let me make one more request. Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.” 40 So that night God did as Gideon asked. The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew. (Judges 6:33-40)
This passage is perhaps the best-known part of the story of Gideon. It is the second time Gideon asks God for a sign and he not only asks once but twice. As we read in the earlier verses, there is not a hint of God being displeased with Gideon, but He seems to accept the requests made by Gideon as another step in the journey of faith, and necessary for the larger challenges ahead.
Gideon had already commenced obeying God to go up against the Midianites by summoning some of the tribes to action. The Spirit of God had already clothed him with power. Yet he still needed reassurance. God responded giving Gideon the signs he requested.
Now it’s God’s turn – will you trust me Gideon? Firstly, let’s reduce the fighting number from 30,000 to 10,000. Okay, still too many soldiers – it may give the people cause to brag that they were the reason for the defeat of the enemy.
So, let’s take away another 9700, leaving just 300 ready for battle. There is no record here of Gideon questioning God. He has been prepared along the way to trust God as God has met all the tests asked of Him before this moment.
While it may not be healthy to regularly ask God for signs, it is important we do recognise those that are happening along the way. Seeing people being changed or transformed as they put their trust in God; acknowledging God’s work in ourselves, helping us to become more like Jesus. These are signs around us that God is at work and can be trusted. We need to be ready to follow God into the battle that seems impossible to win. Maybe the battle of seeing our families, town, state, nation and the world come to a place where God is acknowledged and worshipped as the only True and Living God. A place where His kingdom values are more well known and followed.