Gideon’s story begins with an angel of God sitting down with him under a tree. He assures Gideon that God is with him. Gideon’s response was honest and immediate. He questioned the statement by asking if and why. If God is with us, then why does He allow this treatment for His people? Where is our miracle?
Many today say the same things. If there is a God, why is there evil in the world? The difference between our question and Gideon’s is subtle, yet powerful. Gideon, like many of us, had failed to see the personal aspect of God’s calling. Gideon knew of God’s faithfulness to Israel and begins with what he knew. He was asking from a point of faith. Many today asks the same type of question but their questions are from faithlessness, arrogance and anger.
The angel of God did not answer Gideon’s question. Instead he told Gideon that he would be the one to save Israel. Again the response we hear is honest and immediate. Gideon told the angel of God that he was in the weakest clan and was the weakest in the clan. Yet, if you want me to save Israel please give me a sign. He had heard God’s voice. It was a personal connection, a saving grace, that Gideon heard and responded in faith to.
Many today say the same things. ‘God, I cannot do what you want me to do. Show me a sign so I know it is from you.’ Again, there is a difference between this statement and Gideon’s. Gideon took the step of faith and trusted God was speaking directly to him. His request for a sign was from a point of trust. Many hear Good’s personal call to them and turn away. Gideon was being sanctified in the knowledge of God and recording his own personal faith journal.
Gideon asked for a sign twice. He laid a fleece for the Lord and God answered both. Just like a baby crying for its milk. Milk is not withheld from a crying infant. As the baby grows the milk is sometimes withheld until different responses are learned, like words instead of tears.
The story continues. Gideon does as the Lord God had said and in the end defeated the enemies of Israel. Throughout the story God speaks directly to Gideon and he acts immediately.
Faith and trust seem to be the same but there are subtle differences. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, so faith comes from God Himself. Trust is the outcome of faith that enables us to act faithfully.
Our walk with God begins as it did with Gideon. God meets each of us individually. He assures our heart that He loves us and is with us. We respond to the voice we are hearing in either one of two ways. One will either lead us towards a saving faith or towards separation. When we listen in faith our questions are faithful and true questions. We are learning to grow from childhood into adulthood.
Walking in faith is difficult at best. Yet, when we can clearly hear God’s voice our walk of faith becomes an act of trust. Learning to hear God’s voice clearly is essential today. Today, with decisions needing to be made and paths to walk down, we must train our hearts to hear God clearly. We must grow up to maturity. Then we can defeat the enemies that are before us. We can truly walk in faith, trusting in a Faithful Father.
‘And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.’