Gideon’s Double Fleecing

Gideon gained a prescient new title, Jerub-Baal, as the Israelites wisely decided to allow the false god Baal to fight on his own behalf after the destruction of his sacramental objects. This gave the people the opportunity to reexamine their allegiance to this idol and their true relationship with Yahweh without having to stake the position of disowning Baal. We are witness to the difficulty that people have in extracting themselves from sin, it is nearly impossible without the divine intervention.

image And God provides. The Holy Spirit comes upon Gideon and with Him the holy wisdom and courage to blow the war horn to summon Israel against their gathering enemies. The tribes recognized that this was a Holy calling and, without a second thought, they came to Gideon to begin the arduous process of reclaiming Israel in the name of Yahweh. The momentum is building, the Spirit is ready to lead, Gideon is empowered and…

He stops!

We are tempted at this point in the Scriptures to marvel at Gideon’s lack of faith as we read the twin accounts of laying out a fleece to determine God’s true intent. This idea of the weakness of faith is magnified by the preceding appearance of Yahweh which we expect would be sufficient for anyone. Our temptation usually stems from weaknesses and soft spots in our own faith. The Holy Spirit gives us a clear direction for our lives and we hesitate, looking to the heavens for a Theophanic indicator, a sign that assures us that this call is from God. When we perceive that a sign is not forthcoming, our hesitation is justified and we sit.

We join Gideon in our imperfections. In order to fulfill his purpose in the kingdom, Gideon must not rely on his human confidence but rely completely on God. The Lord is patient in bringing him to this point, just as he will be patient with our doubts. Only when we are completely reliant will he move us forward to achieve His ends.