Thursday, November 18, 2004

A Meditation: Gideon's Signs

Why, when God tells us to do something, do we ask for additional signs? Judges 6-8 tells the story of Gideon, the fearful and skiddish leader of Israel whom God called ironically a "mighty warrior." God told him to deliver his people from their oppressors, the Midianites. But, on three occasions, Gideon asked for a sign of confirmation before he would obey.

First, he asked the Angel of the LORD to stick around so he could offer him an offering (5:17-18). Second, he put out his fleece (6:36-38). But that wasn't good enough, so he did it again (6:39-40). Three signs of confirmation.

It comes as no surprise, then, that God, knowing Gideon's weakness, gives him a fourth sign the night before his memorable battle. Gideon eavesdrops on a conversation between two Midian soldiers about a dream that indicated that Gideon would lead his men to victory (7:13-15). His courage was bolstered and he obeyed.

Why, when God tells us to do something, do we ask for additional signs?
"God, I will tithe if you send me a bonus check in the mail."
"God, I will talk to my neighbor about Jesus if she is outside today."
"God, I will do this or that if you ..."

God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, 2 Peter says, in his Word. It is wrong of us to seek additional signs. Gideon's fleece was an emblem of doubt. May I be more faithful than he!

How Firm a Foundation
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He has said, to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, for I am they God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand."

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