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Gideon put out the fleece twice with a sincere heart.   He didn't have a Bible like we are so blessed to have.  He most likely wasn't schooled in a yeshiva.   So when the Midianites were gathered together; Gideon wanted to be very sure he was in the right track.   He had no Urim nor Thummin; the Holy items that gave direction to Moses and Joshua.

Gideon wasn't testing God.  He wanted to be in His divine will.  He had a huge mission; he didn't have the High Priest at His side.  Reminds of the story of French heroine St Joan of Arc.  She did have divine directions but she looked up to Christ alone.

To a degree we can humbly put out a fleece.   Not in a light hearted way not done in superstition.   For major concerns, we can humbly ask God for wisdom to assist us in where to preach or gor what house to purchase.   Again we ask in humbleness and confidence in God's direction.

Caution is the word in regards to putting out a fleece.   Visions, prophetic utterances from well meaning Christains, all must be discerned carefully.  St Paul mentions about discerning spirits (1 Corinthians 11:29; 12:10).  Speaking with a seasoned and well informed pastor is also critical.  A best friend at the grocery store may not be sufficient.


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Q2. (Judges 6:36-39)

Why does Gideon put out a fleece before the Lord -- twice?

He just wanted to make doubly sure, so he asked for it to be wet and then for it to be dry,  so it was turned around and no way would it be by chance then.

He knew God could deliver them, but was overwhelmed by the fact that it could possibly be by his hand.

Is this a sign of unbelief or of belief?

I don't think either, I think he wanted reassurance.

Does this constitute "testing" God?

Gideon's request is in order to establish his faith, whereas sinful testing of God is to get God to do miracles to meet selfish needs.

How does it differ from the sinful testings of God the scripture warns against?

This was not manipulating and demanding. It was humbly going before the Lord, and not wanting to anger the Lord.   

The request was in order to establish his faith, whereas sinful testing of God is to get God to do miracles.

When, if ever, should we ask God to confirm his direction with a sign?

Not demanding or manipulating, just to be absolutely certain of God's direction.

What is the danger of demanding a sign?

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  • Pastor Ralph changed the title to Q2. Gideon's Fleece

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