And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets. Hebrews 11:32
Gideon is mentioned along with other stalwarts of the faith in Hebrews 11:32. When I hear of Gideon I immediately think of a fleece and a trumpet, yes, but more so of a consummate hand wringer. My impression of a true man or woman of faith is someone who apparently throws caution to the wind. But there was no reckless abandonment with Gideon. He seemed to demand full assurance before acting, and the Lord obliged.
“If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. Judges 6:17
We’re urged to have faith but we want to lay out our markers too. We order a fleece on Amazon and set it out and nothing happens. Most people I know caution against the use of fleeces in one’s Christian life. Nevertheless, we constantly look for signs of probable success before we move. What I give Gideon credit for is that he ultimately acted. Still he liked the cover of night and a companion by his side, but he took the steps and followed through. In the end he pulled down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah, and cleared out the Midianites with only 300 men with clay pots, torches and trumpets. He was a man of valor but voted most unlikely to succeed.
He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” Judges 6:15
One tiny problem with Gideon. Always the Achilles heel of our heroes pops up in Judges. He liked to collect souvenirs and erect monuments to past accomplishments.
So Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescent ornaments which were on their camels’ necks. Judges 8:21
Gideon made it (and the peoples’ spoils of war) into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah, and all Israel played the harlot with it there, so that it became a snare to Gideon and his household. Judges 8:27
Let’s not do this. What God does through us is his doing. Please, no Midian’s Worse Nightmare tee shirts showing Gideon blowing a trumpet! All glory to God!