[This is a bonus post of the Hearing God’s Voice series.]
A series on hearing God’s voice wouldn’t be complete without bringing up the subject of fleeces. What are “fleeces,” you ask? Many Christians coin the phrase “using a fleece” when they ask God for something specific and test Him just like Gideon did.
The story of Gideon’s fleeces can be found in Judges 6:11-40, but there’s just a small portion of that I want us to zero in on. Before we look at that you may need a recap of the story, so I’ll sum it up for you. You’re welcome. 😉
An Average Joe
The children of Israel hadn’t obeyed the Lord so they were being oppressed by the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to an average Joe named Gideon, who was least in his father’s house (human thinking) although God said he was a mighty man of valor (Kingdom thinking). An angel was standing there talking to him and he was saying, wait, I need a sign that you’re an angel standing here talking to me. (God 1, Gideon 0) So Gideon whipped up some grub and the angel said put it on the rock. The angel supernaturally set it on fire and left Gideon blinking to himself, whoa that was an angel standing here talking to me. (God 2, Gideon 1. But I can relate to Gideon; I’m a slow learner sometimes, too.)
Then God talked to Gideon a couple of times and gave him specific directions to tear down the altar of Baal, which he did at night since he was too chicken to do it during the day. Hmm, Gideon heard God’s voice and obeyed it. (God 3, Gideon 2) Next, the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon and he started issuing orders to bring in recruitments against the war the Midianites were trying to start. (God 4, Gideon 3)
And that brings us up to the part that we are talking about today:
So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said― look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, 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 together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground. Judges 6:36-40 NKJV
Say what? After seeing an angel and all this interaction with the voice of the Lord now you’re going to test God, Gideon? What happened?
When Gideon did this he was overtaken with doubt. Questioning God is okay, but it does not seem wise to do so in the sense of doubting God.
Gideon was just like us. Real. We struggle with doubt. We want to know that we know. Once God has told us to do something, a focus on obeying rather than doubting is in order.
What do you think? Should Christians use fleeces?
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