Gideon Doubts God
Ultimately, Gideon, the Judge, obeys God and realizes a great victory, but he first needs a lot of confirmation to deal with his doubts:
1) Gideon first asks for a sign that the angel had really spoken God’s words. God acquiesces; when the angel touches his staff to the food Gideon prepared, it miraculously ignites and is burnt up.
2) Gideon questions God’s promise of victory and gives God a test to perform. He places a fleece (a wooly mass) on the ground and asks that only the fleece have dew on it in the morning. God lovingly does what Gideon asks.
3) Gideon second-guesses his first test. He gives God another test, but desires the opposite outcome. God patiently complies and in the morning the ground has dew and the fleece is dry.
4) Although Gideon does not voice any more doubts, they still exist. So God offers a final confirmation. God tells Gideon to sneak up to the enemy camp, where Gideon overhears two soldiers talking about a dream one had about Gideon’s forthcoming victory.
Encouraged, Gideon goes forth with his 300 men—and God’s help— routs 135,000.
It is not wrong to have doubts—and God is generally patient with us when we do—but ultimately we need to obey and do what we are told—even when it doesn’t make sense.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.