Hearing God Speak (5)

“And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me” (Judges 6:17).

Today we conclude our series on hearing from God by looking at the examples of Gideon and other bible characters who asked God for signs and further revelations. An angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon to tell him that God had chosen him to lead the Israelites into battle against Midian. “And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man”” (Judges 6:16).

Gideon wanted to confirm that God was with him and would help him to lead His people to victory. He asked God for a sign and laid out a fleece at night. Gideon told God that in the morning, if the fleece was wet and the ground around it was dry, then God had confirmed that he was with him. Gideon asked for another sign on the second night. This time he wanted the fleece to be dry and for the ground around it to be wet. On both occasions God answered in the way that Gideon requested. This gave Gideon the assurance that God was with him and would help him to win the battle that he was about to fight (Judges 6:26-40).

What I like about the story with Gideon is that, he was not afraid to ask God for confirmation of his will. God did not become angry or frustrated with Gideon, but responded on each occasion to reassure him that he was with him. There are other occasions in the bible where people reasoned with God, asked questions or requested more information. We have been taught not to question God but this is not entirely correct. If we ask God a question because we want more clarity or reassurance so that we can carry out his will, then God is sure to answer us. What we should not do is to question the character or integrity of God.

Samson’s parents prayed for God to send back the angel who told them about Samson’s birth to give them more information (Judges 13:8). God heard their prayer and sent the angel to teach them how they would care for Samson. Mary asked the angel how she would conceive given that she was a virgin (Luke 1:34). Abraham also questioned God concerning his covenant since he was childless (15:2). In each of these situations, God provided an answer to reassure his people that he was with them and would meet their needs.

God is faithful and gracious to us and he longs to reveal himself and his will and purpose to us. God wants to speak to us to show us his plans for our lives. God also wants to reveal his character to us and wants to fellowship with us. We develop a deeper understanding of God as we spend time reading his word, communicating with him through prayer and listening and acting on his instructions. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3).

A.P.-Y.

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