The Fleece of Least Resistance

How many of us leading with our lives have found ourselves opting for the fleece of least resistance?  I can’t help but wonder if a thorough DNA test would reveal a bit of Gideon ‘warrior’ in a whole bunch of us.

Gideon, whose story is told in Judges chapters 6 and 7, was a good mixture of fight and flight, compliant but cautious, and great at bargaining while stalling on the key point.

In short, it’s not that Gideon was a disobedient fellow. It’s that he needed reassurance from God and he wasn’t shy about letting Him know. If that meant asking for a sign, following God’s orders to the ‘t’ under cover of night, and fleecing a sheep not once but twice, then so be it.

Gideon said to God, “If this is right, if you are using me to save Israel as you’ve said, then look:
 I’m placing a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If dew is on the fleece only, but the floor is dry,
then I know that you will use me to save Israel, as you said.”
That’s what happened. When he got up early the next morning,
he wrung out the fleece–enough dew to fill a bowl with water!
Then Gideon said to God, “Don’t be impatient with me, but let me say one more thing.
I want to try another time with the fleece.
But this time let the fleece stay dry, while the dew drenches the ground.”
God made it happen that very night. Only the fleece was dry while the ground was wet with dew.
Judges 6:36-40 MSG

Gideon did his part, however mixed his motivation. God did His part, benevolently reassuring Gideon that He was with him and not going anywhere. There was, however, one thing wrong with Gideon’s well-fleeced plan of action: he had 32,000 troops to provide the muscle and mayhem for the saving of Israel from the Midianites. What God was telling him to go and do might be possible with a big enough army behind him.

God had differing thoughts on the matter. ‘Remove the two and the zero in the middle. I can work with 300.’

That night, GOD told Gideon: “Get up and go down to the camp. I’ve given it to you.
If you have any doubts about going down, go down with Purah your armor bearer;
when you hear what they’re saying, you’ll be bold and confident.”
He and his armor bearer Purah went down near the place where sentries were posted.
Midian and Amalek, all the easterners, were spread out on the plain like a swarm of locusts.
And their camels! Past counting, like grains of sand on the seashore!
Gideon arrived just in time to hear a man tell his friend a dream. He said, “I had this dream:
A loaf of barley bread tumbled into the Midianite camp. It came to the tent and hit it so hard it collapsed.
The tent fell!”
His friend said, “This has to be the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite!
God has turned Midian–the whole camp!–over to him.”
When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation,
he went to his knees before God in prayer.
Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up and get going!
GOD has just given us the Midianite army!”
Judges 7:9-15 MSG

God’s and Gideon’s back and forth and resulting outcome is not so different from challenges facing us today. God doesn’t seem to mind the sparring, especially when we’re not the bravest boots on the ground. He makes allowance – for a while – to get calibrated to His way of thinking in spite of our best avoidance tactics.

What He does seem to mind are the ones who are altogether afraid of doing what He asks of them. Nope, nada, and nosirree gets you released from duty. That’s the mercy and wisdom of God when victory’s at stake. According to God in Gideon’s account, you’ll be safer at home. But, you’ll also miss His unfolding miracles.

I’ve heard numerous messages preached about Gideon, all the way back to Sunday School. Thank God that in my young years his story was focused on the great victory God won after thousands were pared to hundreds. I learned that I too could ‘blow a trumpet’ and ‘carry a light’ with a few and God would show what He can do.

As an adult I’ve heard Gideon maligned for being a lousy model of a leader. I beg to differ. Not all of us have ‘No Fear’ and need some time to screw up our courage. You may find us shearing some sheep in hopes that this too shall pass, but it doesn’t mean we won’t eventually get there.

That Gideon did exactly what the Lord instructed him to do speaks well of him. Obedience still got ‘r done.

He listened. He obeyed. Ok, so he was afraid of his dad and neighbors. He did it anyway. On a dark night. (Really, I encourage you to read his story – for the 50th or the 1st time). Yet when the end of his story is arrived at, Gideon had become what God told him he would be if he obeyed: bold and confident.

…with the enemy turned in against itself and on the run.

If that’s not evidence of leading with your life, I don’t know what is.

~ Nancy

For you Gideon types who could use some bolstering on the way to bold and confident. Jehovah-Shammah ~ The Lord is Here. We wouldn’t be doing what we do if He wasn’t. Sounds like Gideon.

Photo Credit: Photo by Sam Carter on Unsplash

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  1. Melody Biehl :

    Thank you for this message. So what I needed today. Melody

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