Though I have read the story many times, I find myself, this morning, enthralled with the story of Gideon. Just can’t put it down. We always get caught up in the fleece thing, I think, but there are so many lessons for us, here. Maybe a few texts from the story and quick lessons.
And [Gideon] said to [God], ‘Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘But I will be with you’” (6:15,16). -- Our God can, and often does, use the weakest among us to accomplish his purposes. As God was with Gideon, so he is with us.
“But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp” (7:10,11). -- God knew Gideon was scared witless, and the Lord graciously accommodated him and encouraged him as he does us.
“As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, ‘Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand’” (7:15) -- Did you notice what Gideon did he heard the dream of the Midianite, which assured Israel’s victory? He worshiped! A right response because it was God who was giving the victory.
“Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, ‘Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.’ Gideon said to them, ‘I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you’” (8:22,23). -- Gideon did not take the occasion to promote himself; instead, he pointed his people to God.
“And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family” (8:27). -- Even the best among us can turn away from God. Oh, how we need God’s care and preservation. And, so, we rejoice in “him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 1:24). And we find great comfort in Paul’s words: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).