2
Gideon’s Fleece (2) : Gideon is chosen by God to save Israel from the Midianites, but doubts his fitness for the task.

Based on Judges 6.

Gideon has been visited by an angel of God, who has commissioned him to liberate Israel from seven years of cruel oppression by the Kingdom of Midian. Gideon has sparked a revolt, but with a decisive battle before him, he remains far from convinced that he is the right man for the task.

BUT Gideon’s father Joash defied the city councillors. He told them that if Baal felt offended, he must fight his own wars; Joash would not give up his son. The row escalated, and before long a Midianite army had encamped in the valley of Jezreel,* and Gideon had gathered loyal men from Manasseh and other neighbouring tribes, ready for battle.

Yet Gideon had always doubted his fitness to lead Israel, and now sought confirmation of God’s favour. He laid a fleece on the ground overnight, and promised that if the dew settled on the fleece only, and not on the ground, he would know that God was with him.* Next morning, Gideon squeezed a bowl of dew out of the fleece, though none lay on the ground.

Just to be sure, Gideon repeated the experiment the next night. When he woke to see dew on the ground but not on the fleece (which is what he asked for this time), he knew God was with him.

* The Valley of Jezreel lies just to the south of Nazareth; in Gideon’s day, it was right in the north of Manasseh. See A Map of the Twelve Tribes of Israel at Wikimedia Commons.

* In Christian belief, the fleece is taken as an allegory of the Virgin Mary, on whom the Son of God came down as the dew, filling her but leaving the rest of the world still ‘dry’. Among the names given to her son was Emmanuel, ‘God with us’.

Based on Judges 6.

The Story of Gideon

More like this

Tales from the Bible (26) The Story of Gideon (2) The Book of Judges (3)

Picture: © Hexafluoride, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0. View original
The Valley of Jezreel in Israel, seen from the top of Mount Meron in Upper Galilee. At 3,963 ft, Mount Meron is Israel’s highest peak outside the Golan Heights (Mount Hermon is higher at 9,232 ft, of which the highest point lying in Israel is 7,300 ft). It was here that the camp of the Midianites and their allies lay. For more statistics on Israel’s geography, see Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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