The account of God using Gideon and just 300 Israelites to defeat over 200,000 Midianites is a great story, but it’s the irony within the story that has captured my attention. (Judges 6-8)
An angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and gives him God’s directive. But Gideon isn’t sure it’s really the Lord so he asks for some confirmation. God is agreeable and sends fire to consume a meat offering laid on a rock.
Gideon is awe-struck and agrees to go with the Lord on this special ops mission. But along the way he has some doubts. So he asks the Lord for another sign and places some fleece on a bowl before heading to bed.
God again privides the miracle and Gideon is convinced… almost! He wants another sign using the same fleece and bowl but in a different way. God does it again.
Then after whittling Gideon’s troops down from 32,000 to just 300 men God grants Gideon yet another confirmation. He allows Gideon to sneak into the enemy camp and overhear them talking about some strange dreams. In these dreams the Israelites roll down the hill like a large boulder and crush them.
Gideon’s weak faith is again bolstered and the battle is won in short order.
God’s rescue is amazing but even more amazing is how Gideon was used in spite of his doubts. God didn’t get angry with him or give up on him.
Does anyone else find that the least bit encouraging?
We can follow God… we can be used to carry out His kingdom purposes… we can do His work… and we can wrestle with doubts at the same time!
Faith is obviously a critical part of our journey with God and it is impossible to please Him without it (Hebrews 11:6). But that doesn’t mean we won’t still wrestle with some occasional doubts.
Every time I’ve struggled through a season of doubt I’ve come out the other side of it with a stronger, deeper faith. The important thing is to be honest with our questions and seek out some good people/resources to help sort it out.
Check out my Resources tab above for some good books on this subject. One of the best is Faith and Doubt by John Ortberg.
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.