6 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Judges 6:1-40
Luke 22:54–23:12
Psalms 95:1–96:13
Proverbs 14:5-6

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Judges 6:36-37 (CSB): “Then Gideon said to God, ‘If you will deliver Israel by my hand, as you said, I will put a wool fleece here on the threshing floor. If dew is only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, I will know that you will deliver Israel by my strength, as you said.'” 

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

How do you make decisions?

Or, if you are a Christian, how do you know God’s will?

And, if we must know and act upon God’s will, why do we find so few prayers on the pages of Scripture where people asked to know God’s will? We are encouraged to submit to God’s will but we don’t observe too many Bible saints asking what it is.

Honestly, I am convinced that far too many Christians completely misunderstand how it is that God calls us to make good decisions and understand His will in a matter. And if I could be so bold as to say it, the way that some Christians make decisions has more akin to superstition than to God’s Word.

For instance, some Christians approach decisions by doing such things as “setting out a fleece.”

  • “If the seller comes down on their price, then I will know it is God’s will to buy the house.”
  • “If I get a healthy IRS refund, then I will know it’s God’s will to go on vacation to Hawaii.
  • “If the Pastor extends the invitation just one more verse, then I will know it’s God’s will to go forward and surrender to mission work.”

On and on we could go with instances of how Christians leave major decisions to chance, recklessly determining what they believe to be God’s will based upon the odds of something happening or their ability to manipulate the outcome.

So, let’s consider whether the example of Gideon setting out a fleece is given to us as an example of how we should make good decisions. I will assume the answer is no and present reasons accordingly.

First, the scenario was created by a man, not the Lord.

It was Gideon that came up with the idea of putting out a fleece. The Lord simply complied with Gideon’s idea. The Lord’s cooperation should by no means be seen as an affirmation that this is how decisions should be made.

Judges 6:36-40 (CSB): “Then Gideon said to God, ‘If you will deliver Israel by my hand, as you said, I will put a wool fleece here on the threshing floor. If dew is only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, I will know that you will deliver Israel by my strength, as you said.’ And that is what happened. When he got up early in the morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung dew out of it, filling a bowl with water. Gideon then said to God, ‘Don’t be angry with me; let me speak one more time. Please allow me to make one more test with the fleece. Let it remain dry, and the dew be all over the ground.’ That night God did as Gideon requested: only the fleece was dry, and dew was all over the ground.”

Simply because this incident appears on the pages of Scripture does not mean that God affirms it as the way decisions should be made. The Scripture simply attests to the fact that it happened. It is not presented as a way to make decisions.

Second, this is clearly not set forth as a precedent.

If Gideon’s fleece was set forth as a precedent, then we would expect to see Old Testament saints and New Testament saints doing the same thing or something very similar.

We don’t.

Third, this was nothing short of a miracle.

When people say, “I’m setting out a fleece to determine God’s will,” they misunderstand what actually happened in Judges 6.

If we really wanted to mimic the incident of Gideon’s fleece, then we would say something like, “Lord, I’m going to throw my electronic device into the pond (without its waterproof case). If I pull it out and it’s completely dry and still works, then I will know your will.”

The fleece instance wasn’t a scenario where Gideon could manipulate the outcome. It was nothing short of a miracle.

Fourth and finally, there are a boatload of good examples in Scripture of how rational, Jesus-honoring decisions are made.

Rather than go into all of the biblical principles of good decision-making, I will end by recommending a book. It is relatively short but thoroughly biblical. I think it should be required reading for every Christian.

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