We’re going to continue today in Judges chapter six. I’m going to go ahead and skip towards the end of the chapter.
I’d really love to hear what you’re learning about your walk with the Lord as we go along. Something I have learned over the years when in comes to Bible study is that our children, starting in about 3rd grade, are very capeable and studying the Bible right along with us. I want to encourage you to give your children a journal and allow them to write what they see God doing in their own lives and what God is teaching them. It’s amazing how the Lord will speak to your children—so don’t be afraid to dig into the Bible with your kids. :)
So let’s pick up our study of Gideon today:
36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
Now, many Bible scholars will criticize Gideon for putting out a fleece, and you might hear people say, “It’s not right to test God or ask for signs when we’re trying to make a big decision,” but I tend to see it a little differently. I think it’s amazing to watch God’s response to Gideon—and I find it hard to criticize him for his lack of faith… because God didn’t criticize him.
Keep in mind that Gideon had been living in a time of idolatry and he didn’t know very much about the living God. Just hours before, a terrified Gideon had been hiding in a winepress, and it was a huge step of faith for him to follow God in this way—just considering obedience to God was testing what he had seen all around him!
Here’s what’s amazing though: God trusted Gideon enough to listen to his questioning and to take him seriously. God was patient. He did not get angry because Gideon wanted a “fleece.” So what do we mean when we say that Gideon “put out a fleece?” Basically, Gideon was asking for a miracle, a sign from God.
It is sometimes difficult to know what the will of God is.
If you’re struggling to know the will of God in your own life, here are a couple of “tests” that my my husband and I have used over the years to help us discern God’s will.
- The basis for all the decisions that make, the guidance for all the decisions we make should be found in the Bible. God is never going to ask you to do anything that is contrary to His Word. If the decision we’re trying to make does not conflict with God’s Word, we move on to the next step which is to decide to obey God’s voice, regardless of the cost.
- We begin to pray about the decision more intensely, realizing that sometimes, God will ask us to do difficult things and it will require sacrifice on our our part.
More often than not, following God requires that we step out in faith, and that we let go of fear. I love the story of Gideon, because God used Him in such a miraculous way, and we’ll see that again next week as we move into chapter 7.
As you begin to walk more closely with God and to read your Bible more, be listening for that “still, small voice,” because God wants to talk to you. We serve a God who wants to have a personal relationship with you. The more time you spend Him, the more you will see how closely He desires to walk with you.
Walk with God, busy mom! Listen for Him. Dig into His Word—get to know Him better.