Sometimes we criticize Gideon for asking for signs after hearing God’s spoken word. Certainly, we shouldn’t use his fleece as a pattern for determining the mind of the Lord in our lives. But there’s a lot we can learn from his story about faith, obedience and living as overcomers despite overwhelming odds. Gideon asked for the signs of the fleece to confirm (not discern) God’s will and strengthen his faith. Although his faith was weak at this point, he ends up being included in Hebrews 11’s great roster of faith! What an encouragement to those of us who feel our own weakness and lack of faith. Like the father of the sick boy in the Gospels, we exclaim, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Even the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
Gideon’s faith may not have been strong at first, but the point is that he did have faith! He was the perfect candidate to be used by the Lord. The Angel of the Lord introduced Himself by telling Gideon, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” What? Surely You must be mistaken! I’m the least important person in an unknown family to begin with! I’m fearful and have questions about why the Lord has seemingly forsaken us. Can’t you see that I’m threshing my wheat in this winepress because I’m afraid of the enemy You want me to conquer? I’m unqualified, or rather disqualified for the position.
No, says the Angel of the Lord. These very points you raise make you the perfect man for the job. Go in this might of yours. Yes, go in the strength you have. Have I not sent you? Your own strength may be weak, but I promise to be with you. My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. You’ve already passed the first test, and out of weakness you will be made strong (2 Cor. 12:10; Heb. 11:34). Whenever the Lord calls us to do something for Him, He also promises to be with us. His commandments are His enablements!