0 Gideon tests God three times (Judges 6)

Episode 87: Gideon tests God three times

(Judges 6)

The Israelites do evil, and God delivers them to the Midianites

6 1 The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord delivered them to Midian for seven years. 5 The Midianites were as numerous as grasshoppers, and they had more camels than could be counted. The Israelites were impoverished by the Midianites, so they cried to the Lord.

The call of Gideon

11 An angel of the Lord sat under an oak tree, while Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress.

12-16 The angel said to Gideon,

The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor.

You will smite the Midianites.

Gideon tests God

17 Gideon said to the angel,

Show me a sign that it's really you who is talking to me.

18 Stay here until I come back and bring you a present.

The angel said,

OK. I'll stay here until you come back.

19 Gideon went home and killed a young goat, made some cakes, put the flesh in a basket, the broth in a pot, and brought it all out to the oak tree and presented it to the angel.

20 The angel said to Gideon,

Put the flesh and cakes on this rock and pour out the broth.

Gideon did that.

21 The angel touched the flesh and cakes with his staff, and fire came out of a rock, burning the flesh and cakes. Then the angel left.

Gideon destroys the altar of Baal

22 When Gideon realized he had seen an angel, he said,

Oh no! I've seen an angel face to face!

23 God said to him,

Don't be afraid. You won't die.

25 Take your father's young bullock, the one that's seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal and the grove that is next to it.

26 And build an altar to me on the top of the rock. Then take a second bullock and offer me a burnt sacrifice with the wood that you cut down from the grove.

27 So Gideon took ten men and did as God commanded that night.

28-30 The next day, when the men of the city saw what Gideon had done, they said to Joash, Gideon's father,

Bring out your son so we can kill him, because he knocked down the altar of Baal and cut down the grove.

31 Joash said to them,

Are you defending Baal?

Let whoever defends Baal be killed this morning.

If Baal is a god, he can defend himself.

33 Then all the Midianites and Amalekites gathered together.

34 And the spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he blew a trumpet.

35 Gideon sent messengers throughout the land.

Gideon tests God two more times

36 Gideon said to God,

I'd like you to prove to me that you will use me to save Israel.

37 So I'll put out a fleece of wool on the ground, and if the dew is on the fleece only and the ground beside it is dry, then I'll know that you will save Israel through me, as you said.

38 And that's what happened.

The next morning, Gideon wringed out the fleece, filling a bowl with water.

39 Gideon said to God,

Don't be angry with me, but I need more proof.

I'll put out the fleece again, but this time make the ground wet and keep the fleece dry.

40 And God did it that night.

The next morning the fleece was dry, and the ground was wet.

A few more words about this episode

The Midianites were as numerous as grasshoppers (6:5)
Every male Midianite was killed during the time of Moses (Numbers 31:7, Episode 68), and yet 200 years later they flourish like grasshoppers "without number."
I'd like you to prove to me that you will use me to save Israel. (6:36)
Is it OK to test God?
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