Journey Blog - Context

Old Testament Stories | Gideon

By Matt Dawson


One of my favorite narratives in the Old Testament is the story of the man named Gideon.  The story of Gideon raises 2 questions that I believe are important for us to consider in our life of faith.

When Gideon is introduced in Judges 6 – we actually find him working in the field (in the bottom of a winepress, think hole in the ground) because he was living in fear of the Midianites.  Yet when the angel of the Lord shows up to speak to Gideon, he calls him out and says “Mighty Hero, The Lord is With You” (Judges 6:12).

Question #1: How would God address you if He walked up to you today?

What words would he use to describe you in your current state? “Loser, Slacker, Hypocrite, Failure, Liar, Cheater?”  Many of us don’t know how to answer this question.  We are not sure what He would call us – but it probably wouldn’t be MIGHTY HERO!

God saw beyond the place of fear that Gideon was currently in and saw his potential.  God called him up to the challenge ahead by giving him the identity He knew Gideon was capable of.

When Gideon began to gather men together to get ready to go to war, he asked God for a sign that this was REALLY HIS PLAN.  In order to do this, he asked God for a sign.

Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, 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.”  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.

Judges 6:36-38

Isn’t that amazing?!  What’s more amazing is that Gideon asks FOR ANOTHER SIGN!

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.”  So that night God did as Gideon asked.  The fleece was dry in the morning, but the ground was covered with dew.

Judges 6:39-40

Question #2: Isn’t it WRONG to Doubt God or Test Him?

I’ve heard this many times in my life from Christians who struggle to understand how much God DESIRES us to bring our questions to Him.  If you really feel like God is asking you to do something, why would you NOT have questions for Him!  Of course you have questions.  You may even have doubts, and as long as those doubts are properly positioned, God wants to not only answer them, but convert those doubts into a stronger faith in Him.

Gideon did not doubt God or test God because He wasn’t sure of His power or His authority.  He asked God to test THE PLAN.  The ACTION that God was asking him to take. Gideon did not question God out of Gideon’s arrogance – he asked God to “clarify” the steps and plans that he knew God was asking him to walk towards.  God was perfectly fine with this.  He even DOUBLED DOWN and did it twice to help Gideon take the steps necessary.

When you understand the rest of Gideon’s story, you can see why God calling him up to his potential and converting Gideon’s questions into a stronger faith allowed Gideon to do some IMPOSSIBLE things through the power of God and truly become a MIGHTY HERO!

How would you answer these 2 questions?  Is God CALLING YOU UP to the potential He sees in you?  Are you doubting or have questions about some steps God has asked you to take?  Have you asked him for clarity so you can know without a doubt?

Let us know more of your story at stories@thejourneyonline.com.  We would love to hear your answers to these questions and walk with you through your questions.

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