The Threshing Floor Challenge (1 of 2)
Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Good morning. It is Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Have you ever tested God? That is to say, have you ever challenged God?
I was taught all the Bible stories when I was a very young child. Mom and dad read to me from The Bible Story by Arthur S. Maxwell, Uncle Author’s Bedtime Stories, and others. I still have them in fact. I tried reading them to my grandchildren, but they were not interested. The language is old, and their technology is new. They were bored. But I loved them as a child. We also had the Bible stories on record and those were fabulous.
Back to my question. Have you ever challenged God?
One of the stories I learned at a very young age was the story of Gideon. I must say I admired him as a child. As an adult I think, “wow, he was bold.”
Do you remember the story?
The people of Israel were not doing the right thing, in fact Judges 6:1 says they did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.
After all God had done for them, after all the miracles they had witnessed; after all the years of protection day and night, they still would not do the right thing.
So many times in my life I have called myself “the children of Israel.” Because just like they, I have seen God work. I have heard God’s voice. I know what is right and what is wrong, and yet so many times I have done what is evil in His sight.
Well, as a direct result of their actions God allowed the Midianites to rule over them and harass them for 7 years. The Israelites were hiding in the mountains in dens and caves. Whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites would set up camp and eat all that they had planted. They would literally come by the thousands with their livestock and camels and set up camp and would lay to waste the crops and the land. And as is typical of human nature when times get tough, they cried out to God for help.
God answered back “…I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” Judges 6:8-10 ESV
In other words, I have proved myself to you again and again. But God had a plan.
And angel appeared to Gideon. Keep in mind, Gideon was beating wheat in a winepress to keep it hidden from the Midianites. These were treacherous times. The angel of the Lord greeted him by saying “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.”
Gideon’s reply was ““Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us?…”
He is questioning.
He is told, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.”
So, not only is Gideon from the weakest clan but he is the least in his father’s house. I love how God calls the unqualified. By all outward appearances Gideon was not qualified, but God had a plan
The Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”
Even with those words Gideon needs more proof. He said “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign…”
There is a lot more to the story and you can read it all in Judges chapter 6 but let us jump ahead to the good stuff.
Gideon wants solid proof. He wants to see with his own eyes.
Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken, behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.” And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water.”
How exciting! To ask God for proof and to receive it overnight must have been just the sign he needed.
BUT, that was not enough for Gideon. He challenges God further. He wants even more proof. I can imagine him thinking, “well, that could have happened without a miracle. I mean it is entirely possible that the fleece drew dampness out of the air, but not enough to make the ground wet.”
He apprehensively asks for more proof.
Hey God, don’t be mad at me but “please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.”
Does God get mad? Does God say “I showed you what you asked for, now deal with it!” No, “God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.”
I love that! I love that the God of all, the Alpha and the Omega will allow us to ask for proof. He has even invited us to test him. Malachi 3:10 “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby PUT ME TO THE TEST, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
Now do not get me wrong. I believe faith is more important than testing. God is not to be mocked. We are to love and trust Him. Hebrews 11:6 tells us without faith it is impossible to please Him. But, I think God allows us to test Him and through the testing we can know He is good. We can know that God is love and He only wants what is best for us. He wants to help us win the battle!
What happens next? It is exciting. Tune in tomorrow 😊