So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said–look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” Judges 6:36-37
We want to know and then follow God’s will. We believe God, and we genuinely want to honor Him in the decisions that we make. And we want to be sure. All of those are good and reasonable. But that’s not what Gideon was doing. Gideon was stalling.
God had already promised to deliver Israel through Gideon. Just in these two verses, Gideon himself repeats that promise twice. Leading up to these verses, he had called for an army to assemble and they had. He had seen God face to face. He had witnessed his offering miraculously consumed. He already had more than enough evidence that he was commissioned by Jehovah to deliver Israel.
Gideon didn’t need confirmation, he needed obedience.
His problem wasn’t discernment, it was reluctance.
Gideon was testing God rather than trusting Him.
Your miracles so far are not enough. Your word is not enough. Your promises are not enough. Your character is not enough.
Like Gideon, sometimes our desire for confirmation is a smokescreen for our reluctance to obey. It is camouflage for our need to call the shots. We won’t move until our conditions are satisfied, until our criteria are met.
After mentioning the stuff about wool, Webster’s defines “fleece” as to strip by extortion or fraud. Requiring, or even requesting God to give a sign before we move in obedience is extortion. God, in His grace, has saved us, commissioned us, and equipped us. He has given far more than we deserve.
Often, because of His great love and mercy, He even meets us at the point of our doubt and disobedience. Like He did with Gideon.
I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” Psalm 40:8 NLT