Judges 6:33-40 – Here’s Your Sign And This Is All I Need To Happen and This…and This

Posted: August 23, 2017 in Book of Judges

Judges 6:33-40
Gideon Ask for a Sign

One of my favorite comedy routines is by Bill Engvall and the routine is called “Here’s Your Sign!”. In this comedy routine, Bill goes about telling us that you can fix ignorant but you just can’t fix stupid. And there are signs that people are sometimes just stupid! He talks about how there are warning signs that people are stupid. In one version of this routine, he talks about when he and his wife were moving and the house was full of boxes and the moving van was outside. They neighbor says, “You guys movin’?” Bill says, “Nope. We just like to pack up all our stuff about once every week just to see how many boxes it will take….here’s your sign!” He says, “I was pulling into the marina on the lake one afternoon and unloaded a whole string of fish!” and somebody asked him, “Did ya catch all them fish?” Bill said, “Nope. Talked ‘em into givin’ up!”…here’s your sign! And one of the funniest ones is about product warnings on products we use every day. He said, “I just don’t understand why…wait yes I do…why Preparation H has a warning on it that says, ‘Do Not Take Orally’ Well, you know there was some guy that wrote them a letter. He probably said to them, ‘I sucked down that entire tube of Preparation H but I still have hemorrhoids! My mouth is so much smaller now and I can whistle real good, but I still got those darn hemorrhoids!’…here’s your sign!” He then talks about those silica gel things that you find in shoes. They say do not eat. Why? Because somebody ate it. He said what idiot would think, “Wow, a new pair of shoes and something to eat too!”…here’s your sign.

That’s the thing. We sometimes should obviously know what God’s will is, but we make excuses or ask for signs. Well, God is you do this, I will know. Here’s your sign! We say will go in the ministry if God does this. We say we will lay out a fleece and see what God says. We use looking for a sign from God as a delaying technique I think. We use it to put off making a decision about following God’s calling when it is already obvious to us what God wants us to do. Often we miss our calling because we have waited for this sign or that sign or God to confirm in some way. We are waiting for the big pointing finger from the sky that says “this is it!” or “do this!” or “here it is!” It reminds you in some ways of a scene from the movie The Jerk starring Steve Martin. At the end of the movie where the flaw in the product that made Steve Martin rich is revealed and he begins to lose everything, Steve’s character says as he is leaving the mansion, “I don’t need anything…nothing at all…except this paddle ball and that’s it…this paddle ball” He goes on to continue leaving the house but notices one more and one more thing to the point he says, “I don’t need anything but the ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, and this magazine, and the chair! And that’s ALL I need!” We are kind of like that when it comes to God. We ask for signs. He proves His claim. We ask for another and another as an excuse for inaction. Where is our trust? Where is our faith! Here’s your sign.

These things from my trivial brain that I thought of this morning as I read through Gideon’s fleece story in Judges 6:33-40. Let’s read it now:

33 Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.

36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

In this passage, we see must ask the question, “Was Gideon testing God or was he simply asking God for more encouragement?” In either case, though his motive was right (to obey God and defeat the enemy), his method was less than ideal. Gideon seems to have known that his request might displease God (Judges 6:39) and, yet, he demanded two miracles (v. 37, v. 39) even after witnessing the miraculous fire from the rock back in Judges 6:21. It is true that to make good decisions that we need as many facts as we can gather in a short period of time. In this case, Gideon had all the facts, but still hesitated. He delayed obeying God because he wanted even more proof. Demanding extra signs was an indication of unbelief. Fear often makes us wait for more confirmation when we should take action. Visible signs are unnecessary if they only confirm what we already know to be true. Today, the greatest means of God’s guidance is His Word and the conviction of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Unlike Gideon, we have God’s complete revealed Word. If you want to have more of God’s guidance, don’t ask for signs, study the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and allow the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts of its meaning through pondering God’s Word and through prayer.

Putting out fleeces is a poor decision making method. Those who demand proofs from God are putting limitations on Him. We are, in effect, asking God to fit our expectations. The results of such experiments are often inconclusive in our minds and do not make us any more confident about our choices. Don’t let a fleece become a substitute for God’s wisdom that comes through Bible study and prayer.

You know what God is calling you to do? What are you waiting on? Are you waiting for a sign and another and another? Are you waiting for your pastor to pat you on the back? You have a ministry in you. God has put that on your heart. Now, quit your whining about what has to happen first and just go do it! Follow God’s call on your life. Do what the Spirit has called you to do. No more excuses. No more request for signs. Jump into the water and trust God to send the flotation device when He has obviously told you to jump into the river.

Amen and Amen.

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