Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our readings are those for the Feast of St. Thomas, celebrated on December 21. Yes, I know we're pretty far ahead of December 21, but there's a big pile of holidays at the end of December and beginning of January, so we'll be behind before you know it.
Gideon and his fleeces have sometimes been used as an example of the way godly people should ask God for confirmation that we have understood his will correctly. There is something to that, though you can just as well, and possible better, see them as an example of not taking God at his word. I have long found it interesting that, in purely human terms, Gideon needed to try his test twice because he got it backwards the first time.
When you put something fluffy or fuzzy outside and there's dew on it and not on the surrounding hard surface, that's really not surprising. Notice the dew on the grass but not on the porch, for instance. That was Gideon's first test. It was no great surprise that there was dew on the fleece and not on the ground around it.
The second test made a lot more sense. Something supernatural happened then. The fleece was dry but the ground was wet.
The real issue, though is this. Do we take God at his word and accept that he is able to do what he has said? This is what Gideon was really asking. And the answer, in Gideon's case, was that Gideon was not ready to accept God's promise. The text in Judges 6 doesn't say, but I'm hopeful Gideon was moved to repentance for his doubt.
Whether Gideon was changed or not, whether he was brought to repentance or not, the fact is that God was still on his throne and fully intended to keep his promise. Even more than that, we learn from this passage that God is very, very patient with his servants. Gideon was not ready to trust God. God had already proclamed that Gideon would lead God's people to victory.
In the Scripture, God shows himself to be true to his word, every single time. When he makes a promise, he keeps it, regardless of our level of trust. He showed himself to be the God who would deliver Israel, even through faithless Gideon.
What promises has he made to us? We can be sure he intends to keep them. I don't know the specifics of how he will keep his promises, but when he promises forgiveness of sins, life, salvation, and a living hope of resurrection to eternal life, he means it. Will we be faithless like Gideon? Sometimes we certainly will. Will we ask God to prove up his intent, then bungle the test while God patiently waits for us to grow in grace? Pretty likely. Regardless, God remains the Lord of promises.
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