And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Was Gideon so faithless that he had to ask twice for this sign with the fleece to know that God was going to use him in this way? Or was he just being particularly careful because he didn’t want to do the wrong thing? Did he fear so much to go against God that he needed to be absolutely sure he wasn’t being deceived? No matter what his reasons were, God knew them and he answered this request from his servant without chastising him for asking. He didn’t strike him down dead or go find someone else to lead Israel into battle.
God knew the makeup of Gideon, a man He called out to lead His people against their enemies. He knew the heart of Gideon when He made His proclamation, and maybe in a kind of tender way He assures Gideon, a seemingly fearful and careful man who He called “a mighty man of valor.” He knew what Gideon would be, and He knew what it would take to get him to become that. And He reassured him step by step so that he could accomplish all that God wanted him to do.
Gideon needed something very specific from God in order to move forward. And maybe if we find ourselves a little fearful or a little unsure, all we need to do is ask God about it. If He knows our hearts to be sincere but perhaps cautious, He will not chastise us, but reassure us and give us what we need to move forward in what He has called us to. If we find ourselves with some doubts or questions, we can freely bring them before the Lord and allow Him to help us sort them out.
Let us allow Gideon’s story to encourage us. We may not be a mighty warrior, but sometimes God calls us to do things a mighty warrior would do even so, but He’ll equip us and enable us for the task ahead. He’ll do little things for us that strengthen our faith. He’ll show Himself faithful so we can trust Him more. Sometimes we may think God will be displeased with us if we have questions or uncertainties or are hesitant in His call for us. But He wants us to succeed, and so sometimes all we have to do is ask for whatever it is we need to move ahead.