Gideon was fearful yet obedient - he wanted to honor what had been told to him.
It's no wonder the Israelites were always in this cycle of failure - the previous generations seem to have forgotten what God had done in the past; the knowledge of God's faithfulness and goodness was not passed down to the next generation; it was only hearsay and it seemed many chose not to believe. Joash - Gideon's father displayed this trait.
The first thing he did was to follow God's instruction cut down his father's shrine to a false god - Asherah and build an altar to the True God. Now that took some nerve on Gideon's part, so this plan was carried out at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father’s household and the people of the town. In the morning, when this is discovered the people figure out that Gideon is the culprit.They are not happy. They wanted to kill Gideon, but Joash - Gideon's father said if Baal is god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who broke down his altar. At this point, Gideon gains new respect and is also called Jerubabaal - which means let Baal defend himself. Parents and children don't often see eye to eye, but when it came to what was important, Joash - the idol worshipper, defended Gideon. With God on his side, Gideon took a stand against his father.
Gideon is developing more confidence, but he's still wary. Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power. He blew his horn and he's in the process of army building- he gets a huge response (which we'll talk about in the next post).
Then he asked the Lord for a sign -
36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, 37 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.” 38 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.This is the story we were told in Sunday School, how Gideon puts a fleece down and tested God. But without the greater context of knowing that God had chosen Gideon, God had given him instruction, Gideon was obedient, and God had placed his Spirit on him, many of us seem to think that we can test God willy-nilly and then rebel against God when he doesn't pass our test. We deal with difficult situations but instead of using God's word as a barometer and an indicator for our direction we rely on our feelings. We test God when we doubt him and the promises in His Word instead of having faith in Him. Gideon had a personal encounter with God, God called him a mighty hero; Gideon turned his doubt into faith and knew that the God that was calling him to do this task was faithful. He may have been timid, afraid and grouchy by nature, but with God's help, he would overcome and God confirmed it to him.
39 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 6:36-40
Then the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with power. Judges 6:34
Is there anything in Gideon's experience that is similar to yours? Please share.
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