by Laura Keeley, adapted from Walk On (Faith Alive, 2007)
Read Judges 6:1-24, 33-40
In the sixth chapter of Judges we read about Gideon. Gideon has always been one of my favorite Bible characters because he seems to be so ordinary, so unsure of himself. Yet God chose to use Gideon to lead the people of Israel and deliver them from oppression in a very difficult time. When the Lord asked Gideon to assemble the army of Israel and take on the army of Midian, Gideon didn’t jump right up and say, “Anything you say Lord. I have complete confidence!” No, he was actually not really sure that things would work out well.
After the Israelite army was together and they were ready to move on to battle, Gideon seemed to get cold feet. He asked the Lord to give him a sign that he would give Israel victory over Midian. Gideon placed a wool fleece on the ground and asked that, overnight, the Lord put dew on the fleece but not on the ground. The Lord gave the sign just as Gideon asked. But it didn’t satisfy Gideon for long. You can almost imagine that as the day wore on and the time of the battle got closer, Gideon began to wonder whether this was really a sign from God or maybe just wet fleece. So he asked the Lord for another sign. This time he asked that the fleece be dry in the morning and the ground wet. The Lord gave him that sign also, and then God gave Gideon a spectacular victory against Midian.
That same Lord, who spoke to Gideon and gave him a sign of his continued presence, is here with us today. He has promised to be with us always. Just like Gideon, we may sometimes feel unsure and scared, but our God is a God of promises. The Lord will be with you as surely as he was with Gideon. We know this because God keeps all his promises, and that is what gives us hope, a hope that is sure every day.
Sing a song that reflects the hope we have today. Here are some examples:
- “God Behind” on Down to Earth by Fischy Music
- “Don’t Be Afraid,” Lift Up Your Hearts 429
- “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” (add a stanza with the names of the people around you)
Gracious God, we heard the story of Gideon and how you assured him that you were there. Thank you for being the God who makes and keeps all your promises with your people. Thank you for the promise that you will always be with each of us, every day. Amen.