Sketched II Day 10 Gideon: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, Gideon!

Judges 6:36-40 English Standard Version (ESV)

36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said,37 behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.”40 And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.

The Questions

1) What is the context of this passage?

2) Why was Gideon “testing” God like this?

3) What does “laying out the fleece” reveal about asking God for direction?

The Findings for Intention

1) What is the context of this passage?
Israel had spent years disobeying God, living as if He wasn’t an almighty active God worthy of their love, just as the Lord had loved them so boundlessly. Because of their sin and pride as a nation, they had been “handed over to the Midianites” as a consequence. The Midianites oppressed Israel by “devouring their produce” and “laid waste to the land” and after seven years, Israel began to “cry out to God for help” and rescue from the hand of Midian. God answered their prayers in a most unlikely fashion by calling Gideon to lead his people to push back against their oppressors.

Why was Gideon “testing” God like this? (no Holy Spirit or in 3rd question)
An angel of the Lord first appeared to Gideon, calling him into leadership. Since that time, Gideon battled with fear and doubt as he had to choose whether to trust God or himself. With every encounter Gideon had with the Lord or an angel of the Lord, his faith grew a little more and his actions reflected that growth, but he still struggled, which led him to “laying out the fleece”. Gideon wanted to know for sure if God was going to be with him and follow through on what He said He would do by giving Gideon victory over the Midianites.

3) What does “laying out the fleece” reveal about asking God for direction?
If you’ve been a believer for pretty much any amount of time, you’ve wondered what God’s will for you is at certain points in your life. You’ve probably wished for a “sign” that you could look at and clearly discern what you were “supposed” to do next. Often, believers use the example of Gideon and his fleece to attempt to find a sign for their own life, but this isn’t biblical. Not even here in Gideon’s story. Gideon didn’t set out the fleece to decipher God’s will, but as an act of faith. Gideon believed what God had told him, yet recognized that he still had real fear and areas of disbelief. Gideon’s obedient actions up to this point prove His trust, and in an act of faith, Gideon pleads, in essence, “I do believe! Help me with my unbelief!” much like the centurion who encountered Jesus in the New Testament. (Mark 9:23-25) God honors Gideon’s heart and grows his faith a little more every time Gideon asks.

The Everyday Application

1) What is the context of this passage?
Israel suffered big time because of their disobedience. But they didn’t have to. God had given them the Promised Land for their enjoyment and peaceful relationship with Him and others around them, but they missed out on so much because they simply wouldn’t do life God’s way. Write down some areas in your life that feel “out of alignment” or “hurting” or “broken”, and rather than just asking God to fix the problem, bravely ask Him to shift your perspective and change your heart. God doesn’t allow the brokenness in our lives because He wants to make us miserable! He allows the pain so that, just like the Israelites, we would “cry out to Him”. He wants our dependency on Him as He grows our hearts to be more like Christ!

2) Why was Gideon “testing” God like this?
What has God been pressing in on you about lately? Something that feels either un-important, mundane or perhaps too big or so impossible it’s laughable to consider. What if we took those things and saw chose to trust God’s perspective instead of leaning on our own understanding? God has designed each of us with gifts and abilities and He doesn’t want you to waste them on mediocrity. Lean in. Listen well. And then move in trusting obedience to the rhythm of the Spirit of God moving in you! Serve at church, share the gospel, memorize Scripture, have that spiritual conversation, give lunch to someone who is homeless, pour into that teenager, date your husband…..whatever God is moving you to do, Take Action! And watch your God do the amazing!

3) What does “laying out the fleece” reveal about asking God for direction?
As New Testament Christians who have access to the full Bible cover-to-cover, we have the advantage of reading about God’s incredible faithfulness since the beginning of time. He has proven Himself trustworthy over and over, both in the Bible and all throughout the rest of history, even in our own lives. We also have the added benefit of the Holy Spirit living within us to remind us of God’s character when we face difficult situations. Even so, doubts and fears often cling to us like dew on blades of grass and we just can’t seem to shake them. When we feel overwhelmed with our fears and doubts, take a cue from Gideon and run to Jesus with those feelings, declare both your belief and your unbelief, and watch the Lord grow your heart just as He did for Gideon!

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, Gideon!
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Sketched II Week Two!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Sketched II!