Devotional 4/24

Then Gideon said to him, if you would, please give me some proof that you really are the Lord. Judges 6:17

Your obedience does not require fearlessness, only the faith to trust God, even if you feel afraid.

Gideon is an interesting person. God called him to liberate the people of Israel. His first conversation with God was funny. He told the angel of the Lord that the people of Israel no longer believed God was with them because they had been under oppression for way too long (Jud. 6:13).

He asked God to prove that He was God, and prepared a sacrifice for Him. Gideon put goat meat and bread covered in broth, under an oak tree. In verse 21, the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the bread with the end of his walking stick, and fire jumped up out of the rock and burned up the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared! Gideon was so amazed he built an altar and name it Jehovah Shalom, because he had seen an angel of God and lived!

Interestingly enough, when God called Gideon- he struggled with unbelief and his self esteem. Gideon asked God to prove himself and to give him signs. Gideon said to God, look: I’m placing a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If only dew is on the fleece, but the floor is dry, then I know that you will use me to save Israel, as you said. And funny thing is that when God did as Gideon challenged, he asked God to reverse it! Gideon told God, this time let the fleece stay dry, while the dew drenches the ground. And it was so.

Asking God for a sign is not unbelief, depending on the intentions of the heart. The Jews and Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign because of their unbelief- what greater sign did they need other than the fulfillment of scripture, the signs and wonders? Hezekiah’s life was redeemed from death, and he asked Isaiah for a sign to know God would spare his life and add 15 years of life, and the Lord said look, I am causing the shadow that is on the steps of Ahaz to move back ten steps. The sun’s shadow will go back up the ten steps that it has already been on (Is. 38:7). When Gideon asked for signs, it may not have been offensive to God because there was insecurity and unworthiness in Gideon’s heart. Insecurity seems to be a point God wants us to acknowledge because God patiently encouraged both Moses and Jeremiah to answer His call. Gideon did not believe himself to be worthy to be used of God, and neither of being able to deliver Israel. God was merciful and patient with him, and gave him signs to boost his faith and self image. God does not like us to test him but will respond through prayer when He sees we need it. 

Are you starting to feel confused? Pray and ask God for a sign: He is a God of peace, not of confusion. Are you feeling insecure, ashamed, unworthy? Pray and ask God for a sign: He will speak to you according to His sovereign foreknowledge.

Let’s pray:

Father God, we give you thanks for this day. You are welcome into our lives Lord. We ask for forgiveness in terms of our unbelief, weariness, and hardhearted-ness. We ask you for direction and clarity. Please give us clear signs which we notice and understand. I also pray for the conviction to attend to your will, and lay down ours. May we release our need to be in control Lord, help us in all areas of unbelief. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

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