Posted in Daily Threads

Putting out a Fleece

The Fleece Test

If you have been in church or around church people much, you may have heard this term before. People sometimes say that they are “putting out a fleece” when they are looking for an answer from God about something.

Now that Gideon had torn down the pagan worship places, the time had come for his next assignment. He knew what that was going to be, too. The LORD would defeat the Midianite Army through his hand. Gideon was the original “fleece putter-outter“. Gideon saw how the odds were stacked against him and his army. They were out-manned and out-weaponed. But this was only the beginning of God showing Himself merciful and mighty at the same time.

Judges 6:33-40 ESV

Now all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and they crossed the Jordan and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. But the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and they too were called out to follow him. And he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they went up to meet them.

Then Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said, behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand as You have said. And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. Then Gideon said to God, “Let not Your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on the ground there was dew.

The Enemy is at the Door…

The huge and powerful army which had been oppressing them to the point starvation was now at their door. They were so close that they could almost touch them! Not that they wanted to touch them!! They wanted them to go home and leave them alone!

However…

However, “the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon.” I envision God just wrapping Himself around Gideon and engulfing him in Himself. Then, Gideon began calling the men from far away to come and prepare for battle.

He sounds like he is ready now, doesn’t he?

But Wait…

He wanted to ask something of the LORD his God. He wanted to put out a bunch of sheep’s wool and he wanted God to confirm, once more, the calling He had given him. So, if the wool was wet and the ground was dry the next morning, then the calling was confirmed. God gave Gideon just what he needed from Him – a clear answer. The wool was completely soaked and the ground around it was dry.

What?!?!

Ok, now Gideon was satisfied and continued on with his mission. Nah! That is not quite how it happened. He asked God to prove that He would defeat the foe by Gideon’s hand! Again!

What a patient and loving God we serve. This time Gideon asked that the wool be dry and the ground be wet with dew. God again confirmed what He had said – that He would use Gideon to defeat this massive army. The wool was dry and the ground was wet with dew.

So, now Gideon is ready, right?

Smiling

What an awesome wonderful God we have! And I just love this man – Gideon! I can so identify with him. I smile the whole time I am studying this account because this could be me over and over!! Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I am not about to face this horrifying army! But, you know… If God decided to use you or me to do the very same thing, He would do it and He would win, too!! It is not about the tool but the One who wields it!

I can hardly wait to talk about what happens next!!!

Things to Ponder:

  • Have you ever tested God in a similar way? I don’t think I have. I have waited for confirmation but I don’t think I have set the conditions of the answer as Gideon did.
  • Can you see how the fleece tests and results God gave would have emboldened Gideon to lead the army? I think that after God so graciously answered Gideon’s request twice, he could confidently stand and say, “God is going to do this so follow me!”
  • Can you identify with Gideon? Do you need multiple clear confirmations from God before you are ready to obey? I do. May we strive to live in faith and obedience. Our wonderful God loves us so much and He will take care of us.

Go Deeper Today:

Matthew 6:5-15

To read more about Gideon, click on these links:

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