back to Gideon . . .
Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.__Judges 6:27
As one minister put it, Gideon “did it afraid.” He did not allow fear to paralyze him, he put feet to his faith and did what God told him to do. Two key verses come to mind when we, like Gideon must choose whether to honor God’s instructions or seek the approval of men.
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.__ Proverbs 29:25
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. . . ..__ Matthew 6:24
The account of Gideon continues (Judges 6:28-32 ) when the morning light brings with it the revelation that the altar to Baal has been destroyed and a new altar with its offering to God lay in its place. Then Joash, Gideons father is confronted by the men of the city and asked to turn Gideon (later called Jerubbaal) over to be killed for his deeds.
Joash’s response to the men is simple and wise. I have to admit that I smile a little each time that I read it.
And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.__ Judges 6:30-31
The verses that follow are the ones most often associated with Gideon. They describe how Gideon again asks God for and receives, not one, but two signs. First a wet fleece on a dry ground and then a dry fleece on a wet ground. (Read it here)
I am not so heavenly minded that I cannot empathize with Gideon because the stakes are high, higher than they have ever been for Gideon (for me . . . and maybe for you). Gideon has never before led his nation or any nation. Gideon has acted in faith and his faith has grown. He knew God’s will was to deliver Israel and he was being led step by step. But Gideon needed encouragement. Gideon’s faith was struggling, but struggling forward.
And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. __ Judges 6:36
Gideon’s question was not if God would save Israel, but rather would it be by his hand. We have the Word of God. We the have promises of God in written form but in times of testing and waiting , when we (I) need encouragement. Gideon shows us what to do with struggling faith: He went to God with his doubts (fleeces) and received encouragement, not condemnation!
tomorrow– ” the battle?”
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.__ Matthew 6:24