Jud 6:37-Facing Life With Faith
Question: “Gideon begged God’s indulgence with the fleece; Was the fleece a tool of discernment or just a sign of Gideon’s doubt and fear?”
Answer: Gideon’s request is evidence of His doubt not faith, proof of his fear more so than a quest for discernment. The fleece was not the first indication of God’s will. Let me recap the progression of events:
(1) God sent His prophet to declare His Word (Judges 6:8-10). This addressed the first objection Gideon had, “If the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us?” (6:13).
(2) God sent His Angel to speak with Gideon, to call him into service and begin to deliver the tribe of Manasseh from the Midianites (Judges 6:11). This calling was met with Gideon’s objections about his family, about his lowly station in life (6:15).
(3) Gideon asked for a sign to prove the LORD was actually speaking with him (Judges 6:18). In this instance, Gideon offered a meal, which was consumed with fire (6:21). To this, Gideon responded with anxiety; would God slay him because he’d been in the presence of the Almighty?
(4) Gideon tore down the altar of Baal, as God commanded (Judges 6:27); then he called the neighboring tribes together (6:35).
(5) Then, Gideon tested the LORD with the fleece: first the fleece was wet and the ground was dry (6:37), then, the next day, the ground was wet and the fleece was dry (6:39).
Long before this test, it was evident God was working and that He had singled out Gideon to show Himself strong. Gideon’s testing was less about the clarity of God’s direction and more about the doubt of His would-be deliverer. Throughout the story, God was condescending to Gideon’s apprehension and doubt.
When I first gave my life to Christ and began following Him, I faced a difficult decision, but a clear choice. I have found that many of God’s children wrestling over whether God is leading this way or that, when in reality, their greatest struggle is choosing to follow Christ in the first place. That decision alone, takes a lot of lesser issues off the table. I’m not saying it’s always easy; but at least it’s clear. So, with Gideon; the decisions were not easy, but the choices were clear: follow the LORD, or cower under the oppression of the enemy.
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