Open Your Bible
Judges 6:11-23, Judges 6:33-40, Judges 7:1–23, Psalm 9:3-10
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 “no” for an answer. I tend to think God respects us when we’re able to humbly accept His “no” to our requests. But that’s not necessarily what Gideon does. After God gives His final answer, Gideon respectfully asks once more, saying, “‘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 what he’s asked for: God’s presence goes with Gideon in battle.
I sometimes wonder if God changed His mind because of Gideon’s request. Or was God bolstering Gideon’s faith, bit by bit, before giving Gideon the answer he sought? After all, God had already answered Gideon, though not the way Gideon had hoped. But with a deep breath and a heart full of faith, Gideon sought the Lord a second time, and this time, God gave him the answer he wanted: Yes. God wasn’t flip-flopping His answer. He was progressing Gideon’s faith, growing it, bolstering it, and filling it to overflowing.
When we ask God for something He has withheld from us, it doesn’t 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.