Read: Judges 6:33 – 7:1
Gideon may have been feeling pretty good about himself after he passed God’s test and tore down the idols of Ophrah, but that was just a glimpse of what was to come. On the horizon, Midian, who was described to have as many camels as sand on the seashore, is joined by the Amalekites and other Eastern nations to attack Israel.
God gives Gideon an extra dose of strength to take on these nations in the valley of Jezreel. So, what does Gideon do? He tests God, not just once, but twice. If you’ve ever heard of the fleece test, this is where it is derived from. You may know of the words of Jesus when he is tempted in the desert that we shall not put the Lord our God to the test. He was referring to the passage in Deuteronomy 6:16, which warns against testing God as the people did in Massah. This points back to the Israelites grumbling and complaining about God’s provision not too long after they witnessed the opening of the Red Sea.
Back to Judges 6 and Gideon’s test. Notice in Judges 6:36, Gideon starts his request by saying, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel...” He’s not complaining or trying to get out of it, he is simply making his calling sure. Yeah, it's an unusual request to make the wool wet and the ground dry, and then to immediately request to do the reverse.
How often do we get a nudge or thought on something we need to do to serve God without making our calling sure? It doesn’t have to be a wet piece of wool, but a conversation can and should happen with God about the nudge. Coming to God in prayer and fasting, and looking at his Word is a great start before just jumping into every nudge that comes our way. Gideon gets the results he seeks and heads towards battle with an army of over 30,000 men, and even though they were already outnumbered four to one, God told Gideon he had too many soldiers. Tomorrow, the numbers decrease as God prepares Gideon and Israel for a victory that God will deliver.