The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 2: Gideon – The Idiot’s Guide To Guidance
The Idiot’s Guide To Guidance
The pace of life for Gideon increased. Chopping down a statue of Baal was one thing; now he had outright opposition from Israel’s enemies. The armed forces of the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern nations assembled in the Valley of Jezreel in open hostility.
But did you notice – when he became surrounded by the opposition – suddenly he was filled with the Holy Spirit? At his lowest point God didn’t leave him – in fact, God invaded him. Just as Jesus found in the wilderness – when Satan attacked Him, Jesus was still filled with the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t desert us in our hour of need – even though we may not be able to sense His presence.
The Spirit of God came on Gideon and he blew a trumpet. We may find that an odd thing for the Holy Spirit to cause Gideon to do and yet isn’t the Holy Spirit the Ruach – the breath of God?
What was the result of that trumpet blast? 32,000 men came to join Gideon for battle. God may ask us to do seemingly insignificant or even foolish things, and yet He can use that simple obedience to achieve tremendous results – far beyond our wildest dreams. I’m sure that Andrew got a huge surprise when he took the little boy’s lunch to Jesus and saw it expand to feed 5000.
I have to admit to being surprised at what Gideon did next. How much more did he want God to do to prove that He was on Gideon’s side and would accomplish all He said? Obviously, a couple of miracles…
The famous incident when first he asked for his fleece to be made wet and the ground dry and then for God to do it the other way around – the fleece dry and the ground wet – and God did.
I call this episode ‘the idiot’s guide to guidance’. Ask God for some sign, and once you have the answer ask God to reverse it just to make sure He wasn’t joking. I can make that judgment because I have read to the end of the book. I can be critical of Gideon because I didn’t have to stand in his shoes. And because I haven’t been asked by God to achieve a massive victory or to trust Him in such a huge way.
I believe God deals with each one of us at our unique level of faith and also takes into consideration the level of risk required for the task in hand. The greater the need for faith and the greater the job to be done, the greater the evidence He gives that He is both in control and will provide the ultimate victory.
For me it is another sign that God is a God of love, faithfulness, mercy and grace. I would have become impatient with Gideon and told him to shape up or I’d take him off the job – but God says to Gideon, “Give Me your doubts – yes, all of them – and let Me prove to you who I AM.” I don’t believe God will ever ‘play games’ with us. When we are open and honest with Him, He will prove Himself totally trustworthy and faithful.
Gideon would say to us today...
God wants us to know His will and to walk in it. It’s OK to ask God for help and clarification. He knows who we are and how we are made, and treats us accordingly. We are not all faith-filled warriors of God all the time.
Father, I am so glad that You allow me to have doubts and to express those doubts to You so You can answer them and help my trust in You have a sure foundation. Please remind me that to have doubts is OK because then You can show Yourself real to me when I ask for more assurance. Help me to be real with You and those around me. Amen.
John 21:15-23; Proverbs 3:1-18; Matthew 6:25-35.
Why did Gideon need God to do the fleece miracle twice?
What are the issues you struggle with as you try to trust in God?
What miracle do you want God to perform for you right now?