Gideon’s Doubt

Judges 6:16 And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” 17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. 18 Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.”

One of the favorite stories in the Bible is of when the Lord, the pre-incarnate Jesus, met Gideon. Israel was being oppressed by its neighbors, they would come in and steal and plunder everything and overwhelm them with numbers. One day, Gideon met a man by a tree who said “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12). Gideon’s first response to the Lord was of disgust, basically asking Him why He would allow His children to be persecuted.

The Lord ignored that question, and said He would give all of Israel’s enemies a defeat at the hand of Gideon and a very small army He would select. Now this perplexed Gideon as he probably thought “Really? That is impossible, who is this guy?” So instead of just saying “Yes, Lord, I will obey”, Gideon’s first thoughts were of doubt.

So Gideon put the Lord through three tests because of this doubt, all of which the Lord complied and by His mercy, didn’t laugh at Gideon but was empathetic to his doubt. Gideon lacked faith, so he needed a sign that this was God Himself speaking to him. And the other point to make here, Gideon was taught that if one were to actually see God face to face, he would surely die, so this was fueling his doubt.

What Gideon didn’t know, was this was Jesus in His pre-incarnate state, who several Israelites saw at various times, a man, and called Him “the Angel of the Lord”. So naturally Gideon would have had some questions. I ask you to read the FULL account in Judges 6-8, and study this. After this testing was completed, Gideon trusted God, and he then went onto defeat the surrounding countries with ease but in an unorthodox way. They used trumpets instead of spears as commanded. The Lord wanted to make His power known not only to the persecuting nations, but to the Israelites, to remove their DOUBT. Upon blowing their trumpets, the opposing armies went to war basically with themselves and killed each other instead of the Israelites. While Gideon and his army then executed the kings of these countries in the end.

I would say after this, Gideon probably regretted that doubt! “Why didn’t I just trust Him?” “I am sad that I ever doubted Him”. And we all have been there in times of trouble and sadness. The Lord promises to see us through the time, but we say “I need a miracle, a sign to know if You are real”. And I know from experience of looking back, that I have regretted every time I doubted God and His provision and protection.

What a great God! He grants mercy and grace instead of just allowing us to perish in our doubt during those times! He could have told Gideon “fine, you doubt Me, so I leave you to your own devices”. But instead He went along with Gideon’s childlike tedious tests of Him understanding Gideon’s nature and why Gideon would doubt.

If the Lord is with you, is there any obstacle you could not overcome? Any mountain high enough of which you could not climb? Without Him, the impossible remains impossible. With Him, the possible always exists, so do not doubt! Our fallen nature is filled with doubt, if born-again, you should be growing out of this doubt. Trust in God alone!! He is the most powerful, the most gracious, the most merciful! With Him, those who persecute you will fall in an instant before you, just as those nations did before Gideon!

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