Day 30

Gideon



Judges 6:11-23, Judges 6:33-40, Judges 7:1–23, Psalm 9:3-10

BY Lore Ferguson Wilbert

I am not like the child who keeps asking. I am like the one who asks once, receives a “no,” and leaves dejected. Persistence is not a particularly strong skill of mine, and it takes a great deal of attention for me to know what I desire most of the time. This may be rare. I know many women whose desires are potent, present, and always before them. They posture themselves before God asking and asking and asking again for Him to meet their desires. We have all been given different measures of faith (Romans 12:3).

In this passage, Gideon is an asker who won’t take “yes” for an answer. He wants reassurance even after God responds to his request: “‘Don’t be angry with me; let me speak one more time. Please allow me to make one more test with the fleece. Let it remain dry, and the dew be all over the ground’” (Judges 6:39). In the end, God gives him the reassurance he’s asked for: God’s presence goes with Gideon in battle.

I sometimes wonder why God entertained Gideon’s request. Was God bolstering Gideon’s faith, bit by bit, before leading Gideon into battle? After all, God had already answered Gideon. But God met Gideon right where he was, giving him what he needed in the moment, progressing Gideon’s faith—growing it, bolstering it, and filling it to overflowing.

When we ask God for something again and again, it doesn’t always mean we’re petulant children, whining about how unfair life is. Sometimes it means we’re inching closer and closer to seeing the enormity of God’s overwhelming help, love, and presence, which seem almost too good to be true.

When we ask God for what we don’t think is humanly possible, we acknowledge our utter inability to bring it to pass. We submit to the truth of His absolute sovereignty over all things. This is what Gideon shows us about God and man: the beautiful practice of God’s children seeking and asking, and the spectacular gift of God’s presence with us.

Post Comments (34)

34 thoughts on "Gideon"

  1. Kristen says:

    Hillary, my pastor just gave a message about the answer to our prayers being no or not yet. Of course we don’t like that, but His plan is always better. I wouldn’t have chosen so many of the heartbreaking things that I’ve walked through, but God used even these things. That song called, Scars, talks about being thankful for the scars of life, because he saw God’s heart and that his brokenness brought him to God. The song says that his scars are a story he will use! That’s so true. My pastor was saying to keep pursuing God, Praising Him, and Praying even when the answer is no. We may not understand everything on this side of Heaven, but we can see God’s character through His Word. He sent Jesus and He is the image of God. Think of how helped those in need, the outcasts and the lonely. He had compassion on the people. That’s God, and He is Love, and He is faithful and trustworthy.

  2. Emily Wolf says:

    “I sometimes wonder if God changed his mind because of Gideon’s request.” I need some help in understanding this part of the commentary. After reading the Judges passages several times through, I am still missing where God changed his mind—it looks to me like God assigned him his task and then said I will be with you. God makes the fleece wet when Gideon asks him to make the fleece wet, and He makes the fleece dry when Gideon asks him to make the fleece dry. I interpreted this as Gideon asking twice because he needed to hear it twice that God was indeed going to be with him in the huge feat of going into battle. Where is it that God changed his mind from “no” to “yes”?

    1. Erin Calvin says:

      Agreed – I was confused about this as well. I had to go back and read it again because I never saw that as God changing his answer, but as Gideon asking for confirmation.

    2. Melissa Graves says:

      I agree with you, I don’t see God changing His mind, just confirming what He is telling Gideon to do and trust Him for.

    3. Rachiel Soliz says:

      I’m with y’all. I saw it as Gideon needing reassurance each time that God would be there for him.

  3. Sarah says:

    This first paragraph really spoke to me this morning: “I am not like the child who keeps asking. I am like the one who asks once, receives a “no,” and leaves dejected. Persistence is not a particularly strong skill of mine, and it takes a great deal of attention for me to know what I desire most of the time. This may be rare. I know many women whose desires are potent, present, and always before them. They posture themselves before God asking and asking and asking again for Him to meet their desires. We have all been given different measures of faith (Romans 12:3).” I feel the same way, Lore. I lack persistence– or, more accurately, I so often forget to be persistent. Thanks for this reminder to keep the channels open, to keep asking, to pay attention.

  4. carrie w says:

    I don’t know… I’m pretty sure Gideon is a big cynical coward, and his only shining moment in the story is verse 7:15 – when it says “Gideon worshipped.”

    In the greater context of Judges (a trainwreck of a story about the downward spiral of inadequate leadership in Israel), I’d say this story is another one about the LORD and his standout character, power and loyalty — in stark contrast to the false gods of Canaan and all people, including his own!

  5. Melissa Graves says:

    My husband and I recently saw God do what we knew was not humanly possible…the salvation of his 91 year old father! We had prayed for, witnessed to and all but given up on him…BUT GOD! Seeing the Lord answer that prayer we had been praying for over 30 years was almost unbelievable and all the sweeter because God’s hand in it was so obvious. Gideon’s story takes on new meaning for me since my father in law’s conversion. I understand his approach to God and his need to confirm what God was doing/saying. And God’s patience and willingness to address Gideon’s requests each step of the way…so beautiful. I am so loving this study and the insights everyone has shared. Thank you, ladies. God bless you all!

    1. Amanda Staib says:

      How wonderful @Melissa !! Praise be to God for your father in law !

      1. Melissa Graves says:

        Thank you, @Amanda! We are so grateful for His amazing grace!!!

  6. Churchmouse says:

    We come to God with “but now.” We have faith but now our circumstances seem overwhelming. We go to the Lord in prayer with our confusion, our questions and yes, our doubts. We thought we were in His will but now we’re not so sure. We thought we had made the right decision but now things aren’t working out like we thought they would. We take our “but now” to our “but God” for clarity. We sometimes pray once. Sometimes we pray continually. Perhaps the point is not how often we pray but simply that we turn to our Father. Gideon was threshing wheat. When the angel of the Lord speaks to Gideon, he calls him “valiant warrior” and tells him to “go in the strength you have.” In our praying perhaps God doesn’t see us as questioning or fearful but as a valiant warrior doing battle in the heavenlies. Even though we may not see ourselves as such, in praying we have taken up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. Whether we pray once or many times, we are praying /going in the strength we have. The more time we spend with our God, the more we realize that He is with us. Gideon asked “how can I?“ God said “but I will be with you.” Whatever the “but now” we are in, we are to stay faithful to seek His face, to go out in the strength we have. The day will come when we will say “but God” saw us through.

    1. Susan Merritt says:

      I like your thoughts. We all need more persistence to keep praying, keep asking, and keep fighting our battles.

    2. Melissa Graves says:

      Yes. Absolutely!

    3. Sharyn Beodeker says:

      Appreciate your words so much. I often forget just how powerful prayer is and that it’s the most dangerous weapons we have! Thinking of it as taking up the shield of faith and sword in spirit is such a good reminder of that.

  7. Hillary says:

    The verse Psalm 9:10 really spoke to me this morning. “Those who know your name trust in you because you have not abandoned those who seek you, Lord”. My biggest prayer today is that as women of faith we continue to seek him even when the answer is “no” or “not right now”.

    1. Allison B says:

      Amen, sister!

  8. Lauree A Kelly says:

    Gideon was brave, bold and tenacious. He was able to test God to make sure it was really Him. I am still learning how to pray, so I just keep asking the same thing. Please teach me to pray, show me Your way, forgive me of my sins and other prayers for other people. This reading helps me feel that it is okay to ask God over and over again for His will and other things that glorify Him. The other side of me still says that I should ask one time and wait until I receive peace or an answer. God will always be our Protector, Saviour, Friend, Father and so many other roles but one thing is for sure, no matter how we ask or how many time we ask, we know that He is always listening.

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