Do you trust God? Do you really believe He’ll do what He promises? This week’s Monday Morning Scripture looks at the unlikely hero Gideon.
Imagine a mighty warrior, ready to spring fearlessly and instantly into action at God’s command… and, well, that’s definitely not Gideon. Here’s how he responds when God calls Gideon to stand up against the Midianites, a nation that was brutally oppressing Israel at the time:
Judges 6 (HCSB)
The Angel of the LORD came, and He sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Abiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in the wine vat in order to hide it from the Midianites. Then the Angel of the LORD appeared to him and said: “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
Gideon said to Him, “Please Sir, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened? And where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about? They said, ‘Hasn’t the LORD brought us out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.”
The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not sending you?”
He said to Him, “Please, Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.”
“But I will be with you,” the LORD said to him. “You will strike Midian down as if it were one man.”
Then he said to Him, “If I have found favor in Your sight, give me a sign that You are speaking with me. Please do not leave this place until I return to You. Let me bring my gift and set it before You.”
And He said, “I will stay until you return.”
So Gideon went and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from a half bushel of flour. He placed the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot. He brought them out and offered them to Him under the oak.
The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat with the unleavened bread, put it on this stone, and pour the broth on it.” And he did so.
The Angel of the LORD extended the tip of the staff that was in His hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire came up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the Angel of the LORD vanished from his sight.
When Gideon realized that He was the Angel of the LORD, he said, “Oh no, Lord GOD! I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face!”
But the LORD said to him, “Peace to you. Don’t be afraid, for you will not die.” So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it Yahweh Shalom.
Shortly afterwards, God gives Gideon another task, and Gideon responds in a similar manner:
Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel by my hand, as You said, I will put a fleece of wool here on the threshing floor. If dew is only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, I will know that You will deliver Israel by my strength, as You said.” And that is what happened. When he got up early in the morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung dew out of it, filling a bowl with water.
Gideon then said to God, “Don’t be angry with me; let me speak one more time. Please allow me to make one more test with the fleece. Let it remain dry, and the dew be all over the ground.” That night God did as Gideon requested: only the fleece was dry, and dew was all over the ground. — both passages from Judges 6 (HCSB)
Questions to Consider
- When God told Gideon to do something, Gideon repeatedly asked for additional signs and reassurances. Do you find Gideon’s behavior understandable? Aggravating? Disrespectful? Sensible?
- Have you ever asked for a “sign from God” or additional reassurance from God before taking action? What did you learn from the experience?
- When he was tempted in the desert, Jesus famously rebuked Satan by saying “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Is that what Gideon is doing here? What does “putting the Lord to the test” look like in our lives today?