Gideon Bible Story: Signs of the Time

Published: 04th September 2009
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The book of Judges is set in a time when Israel was uncivilized to say the least. God continually supplied them with heroes to get them out of self-induced trouble. Presently, the most well known of these heroes is Samson...or so I thought.

When I created a website to offer free Bible story downloads and activities for children, I chose to write about the characters I thought most parents and teachers would want to read about and teach; Samson, Jesus, Noah, and Daniel to name a few. Little did I know that the most popular download from my website would be the story of Gideon.

Gideon consistently ranks #1 in page hits, month after month. I had no idea the Gideon bible story was in such high demand. This article explores a possible explanation for this phenomenon.

If you take a moment to read the Gideon Bible story in Judges 6-8, the rest of the article might make more sense. I'll wait for you while you read it.

All done? Great, let's continue.

Have you ever had this nagging feeling that you should be doing something for God?

Deep down inside a voice calls, nudges, and prods you to step out in faith. Maybe He wants you to write a book, start a new church or Bible study, or maybe just He wants you to open a dialogue with your next-door neighbor. Regarding the nagging feeling, were you nervous? Scared? Unsure of where to begin?

I know the feeling. I had a calling about three years ago, which led to the birth of two websites. Scary stuff, when you've never done it before.

Gideon was called by God to lead Israel against the Midianites, who were destroying Israel's homes and fields. In this story, God physically sent an angel in human form to talk to Gideon in person.

We all know Gideon's reaction. He immediately rushed barehanded against the entire Midianite army, defeating them with a single blow.

Okay, that's not exactly how it happened.

Gideon felt genuine fear that he would be leading an army saying his clan was the weakest clan and that he was the weakest in his clan. In other words, Gideon felt totally unworthy to do anything for God, and allowed that fear to control his actions rather than trusting God to take care of things.

It takes courage to step out for God. God knows that, but he still looks for us to make the right decision.

It would be great whenever faced with a difficult decision in life, we could shake our special Gideon Miracle 8 Ball and God would point us in the right direction. Life would be so easy. We wouldn't have to make any decisions.

Basically that is exactly what Gideon did, except he used fleece instead of a Magic 8 Ball. One night, he asked God for a sign to confirm that he was to lead the Israelites into war. God gave him the sign. Still unsure the next night, Gideon asked for another sign to confirm, and God answered his prayer one more time.

Have you ever asked God for a sign to point you in the right direction? Did you receive one? Count yourself blessed if you did.

God is not a traffic director. He sets our paths and catches us when we stray off, but we are not to continually ask for a "pillar of fire" to light the way. How much faith does it take to live our lives if God always tells us what to do?

Lord knows we all need miracles to get us out of trouble once in a while, and God lives to perform those little miracles for his children. Asking for signs puts God in a box, and leaves no room for him to work miracles in our lives.

Gideon displays lack of faith and trust when he asks for a sign from heaven. Fortunately, our Father is so loving and patient that He gladly gives us what we need to move forward.

Everybody looks for signs from heaven to help them make choices along the way, which is why the Gideon Bible story is such a popular story. We need to trust that God gives us what we need to point us in the right direction of the path he wants us to take.

Anything else would be uncivilized.

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