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BEING WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER -
......DEVOTIONS FOR LAMBS.
No. 149
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online  http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Main/tabco_main

Getting to know God together.

PUTTING OUT A FLEECE?
Have you ever heard someone say, “I will have to put out a fleece!”
What they mean is, “I will have to ask God to show me if I am on the right track!”
What a strange thing to say, “I will have to put out a fleece.” People say this because of what happened to a very brave man who lived in Old Testament times. His name was Gideon. Gideon was so brave God used him as an example of faith and courage in the New Testament, in Hebrews 11: 32. He was a hero of the faith:
“And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon [Gideon], and [of] Barak, and [of] Samson...” (Hebrews 11:32).

Well, what was putting out a fleece all about? The Jewish people, God’s chosen nation, were being bullied about by the Midianites. The Lord God appeared to Gideon in this exciting way:

“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him [Gideon], and said unto him, The LORD [is] with thee, thou mighty man of valour [coward]. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen [happened to] us? and where [be] all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken [left ] us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith [how] shall I save Israel? behold, my family [is] poor in Manasseh, and I [am] the least [the most unimportant ] in my father's house.”  (Judges 6:12-15).

Do you know Gideon found it hard to believe that the Lord God would choose to use such a nobody as himself? God wanted to make him a mighty soldier who would lead his people to victory over the Midianites. The Jews had gone away from the true God and so God allowed them to be bossed around and over-powered by the Midianites for seven long years. Served them right! Now God was going to send Gideon to get rid of their enemies. Gideon still couldn’t believe that God wanted to use himself, he was not a proud, big-headed man. So something happened which was truly amazing. He put out  a skin of a sheep (a fleece) to see if God was with him or not. “Dew” of course is the moisture that comes on the ground early in the morning:

“And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt (You will ) save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor [outside]; [and] if the dew be on the fleece only, and [it be] dry upon all the earth [beside], then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.  And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.  And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. “(Judges 6:36-40).

Now you know what “I will put out a fleece” means. It means to seek to know God’s will. We shouldn’t test God like that today, for we Christian believers have the Holy Spirit living in us, and He shows us from God’s Word very clearly what we should do.
“...when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth...” (John 16:13).

More about Gideon tomorrow! He has a mighty victory over the enemy.

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