Testing God

Judges 6:12, 14-17     When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”…The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand.  Am I not sending you?’  “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel?  My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

Judges 6:36-40      Gideon said to God, “If you save Israel by me hand as you have promised—look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor.  If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.”  And that is what happened.  Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.                                                                                                                          Then Gideon said to God,  “Do not be angry with me.  Let me make just one more request.  Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.”  That night God did so.  Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.


I heard a sermon about God calling Gideon to fight against the enemy armies.  Gideon had enough nerve to tell God, He must be mistaken, after all, “I am the smallest and weakest of my family.  You must want someone else.”  But, God persisted, saying He was not mistaken, and the uncertain, low self-esteem Gideon felt he had to MAKE SURE, really, truly sure.  I am sure when the angel called Gideon ‘a mighty warrior,’ he probably looked over his shoulder to see if one of his brothers or a neighbor was approaching.  (I mean, hey, God, you talkin’ to me? To me? Ya know I’m a nobody, right?  You can’t be talkin’ to me.)  I can just hear him sounding like a kid from the Italian section of NY or Boston, can’t you?

So, Gideon, apologetic, but still needing proof God actually meant to choose him, asked God to give him a sign, and told God the sign so he could know with certainty that this message, feeling, was from God, our Creator.  And for two nights running, God answered Gideon’s test exactly as requested.  The first night He sent enough water on the fleece only, to wring out a full bowl of water; the next night, He had wetness with the dew only on the grass, but none on the fleece.

How exciting was this!  I had only to ask God a question, tell Him which outcome would show me a specific direction, and then follow what I was told.   Truly, that was about as far as I developed as a Christian for several years.   But I hungered for more, although I did not know what I hungered for.

Of course, I was not positive why I was restless, dissatisfied, and wanting . . . .something.   I thought it must be I was a single parent going to school full time and working fulltime.  I must be yearning for downtime, a day off without school work and a day not full of errands and chores.  That will probably fix this.   But it did not.

I then started questioning God.  Should I do this or this?  If this, then You will do that, and if You want me to do that, then You will do this.   Anyone who has known me for years, will tell you that is the way I lived for years.  I depended on the fleeces to show me His Will.  Finally, God was irritated and told me to grow beyond being a child and SEEK Him. 

I was not quite sure how to do this.  I was watching different preachers on television, we were attending a bible teaching church on the Sundays I was off, I had a close friend and her husband and we would discuss our growth and hunger to have more, and finally, one of the preachers on tv said I had to be responsible for reading His word, for learning who He is, and learning all about Him as He wrote the bible.  

And about this time, I read  Deuteronomy 6:36   “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.”  And then Matthew 4:7 Again, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’   Uh-oh, that is exactly what I had been doing. Yes, testing direction, testing if He would answer and direct my path, and whining if He did not answer promptly. . . . UNTIL He said I needed to grow up and get deeper.

Where to begin?  I must say, much of the first five books in the Old Testament left me discouraged.  So, I decided to leave that, and move in to the New Testament.  Much better, although I did not understand all that I read there either.  But I was growing.  

Once Gideon believed God did indeed to have him defeat the Midians, he moved confidently.  And God certainly did conquer them, again freeing the Israelites from some of their oppression.   I wanted Gideon’s confidence.   So my reading the bible and attending bible studies and ensuring I was in a bible teaching church continued.   

We grow more confident and more in our knowledge when we study and SEEK God.  I wish all could know there may be an answer to their restlessness, their yearning, the craving to know and fill themselves with . . .something, can actually be found in God.  But I see a lot of head shaking and scoffing at that suggestion oftentimes, and although I don’t hear the words, am sure it is being thought, ‘for sure that is not it.’   People have to be receptive to hear.  I pray that perhaps a seed is planted even as the head shakes and it looks as though the thought will be forever spurned; but I don’t know that it was totally discarded, nor do I know who else our Lord may put in this person’s path.  So I pray for them.

I continue to pray for all my family; they will seek God and fill voids, bringing more connection into their lives which has NOTHING to do with computers, phones, entertainment, and has more to do with reading and meditating on His Words.  Thank You for introducing me to who You are and rescuing me and ‘mybellaviews.’