At the beginning of Judges 6, the people of Israel are not in God’s favor. He is angry with them for falling back to their sinful ways, and because of this He allows the Midianites to overpower them for seven years. Relief does not come until the Israelites cry out to the Lord, and it comes in the form of a man named Gideon. Through Judges 6 and 7, Gideon carries out many acts of obedience to God and is empowered by Him to lead Israel to a victory over Midian.
A passage that stood out to me in this reading was Judges 6:36-40. My copy of the Bible has this section labeled The Sign of the Fleece. Gideon asks God to confirm that He would use him to save Israel by causing dew to wet a fleece of wool while leaving the ground dry. God makes it so. Here’s the part that got me: Gideon asks God to do it again.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.Judges 6:39-40
We see some important concepts in these verses. The first is that God can do incredible things. It may seem frivolous to make dew fall or not fall on a specific area, but it is an impossible task for us. For God, it was no problem (He even did it twice). Through verse 40 we also see God’s patience. Gideon could have accepted the first sign of the fleece as sufficient proof. He asks God not to be angry, which shows that he knew it was perhaps unwise to ask again, but Gideon asks God to show him one more time. The Bible doesn’t say that God became angry or that He said “No Gideon, once was enough, don’t test me.” It says He did it.
I am thankful for God’s patience, because we all sometimes fail to recognize God working in our lives, even if He’s already shown us. The God that empowered Gideon to defeat the Midianites and proved his plan by sending selectively wetting dew is the same God that continues to do incredible things today.