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What is “putting out a fleece”? (Judges 6:36-40)

What is “putting out a fleece”? (Judges 6:36–40)--
36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Judges 6:22 - 23

ESV - 22 Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, "Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face. 23 But the Lord said to him, "Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 11 2018 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In Judges 6:11, Gideon was visited by a being identified as "the angel of the Lord" (considered by many Bible commentators to have been God Himself in the Person of the pre-incarnate Christ), who informed him that God had chosen him to deliver Israel from its subjugation to the Midianites, whom God had allowed to conquer Israel in judgment of Israel's idolatry and other sins.

Later (Judges 6:36-40) Gideon sought a sign (that is, a visible proof) from God that what he had been told would indeed come to pass. Gideon therefore proposed a test to God in which he would lay a fleece (the coat of a sheep) on the ground overnight, and asked that God would cause dew to form on the fleece, but keep the ground surrounding the fleece dry. God did as Gideon asked, but Gideon still had doubts, so he then asked God to cause dew to form on the ground all around the fleece, but to keep the fleece dry. Despite Gideon's lack of faith, God again patiently complied with Gideon's request, which finally gave Gideon the courage to perform the mission that God had assigned him.

Based on this account, the phrase "putting out a fleece" came to be used to describe any situation where a person is requesting a definite indication or proof (often with the implication of that indication or proof being a sign from God) as to the course of action that the person should follow.

A similar situation is described in Genesis 24:12-14, where Abraham's servant (whom Abraham had sent to find a wife for Isaac) asked God for a specific sign as to the woman whom God had chosen for Isaac, which God again granted.

July 12 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Finding God's guidance is something I wanted and thought this might be a good idea. But it seemed to me that I wouldn't be trusting God that much, and that it seemed like it was telling God what to do. This was when I was a young Christian. 

Now Harold Wilmington suggest this:

I. THE ANOINTING (Jg 6:33-35): The spirit of the Lord comes 
upon Gideon and empowers him to fight the Midianites.
A. The threat (Jg 6:33): A vast army of Midianites 
and Amalekites unite to attack Israel.
B. The trumpet (Jg 6:34-35): The Spirit of the Lord 
comes upon Gideon, and he blows a ram's horn 
to gather an army.
II. THE ASSURANCE (Jg 6:36-40): Gideon requests two signs 
from God to assure him of his calling to rescue Israel. God 
answers Gideon's request.
A. First sign (Jg 6:36-38): Cause a certain fleece to be wet while the ground is dry. 
“A waterlogged fleece on dry ground would not be the result 
of a natural act.” (Faithlife Study Bible)
B. Second sign (Jg 6:39-40): Cause the fleece to be dry while the ground is wet. The second night, the test was much harder, for he wanted the threshing floor to be wet but the fleece dry. The ground of a threshing floor is ordinarily very hard and normally would not be greatly affected by the dew. But the next morning, Gideon found dry fleece but wet ground. Jg 6:39 let there be dew on the ground Gideon asks Yahweh to reverse the miracle; he may be attempting to convince himself that no natural explanation is possible. FSB

The fact that God stooped to Gideon’s weakness only proves that He’s a gracious God who understands how we’re made (Ps. 103:14).--“For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
--Warren Wiersbe

Warren Wiersbe

Jesus said a lot about requesting signs –they show a lack of faith (Mt 12:38-39; 16:1, 4; Mk 8:11-12; Lk 11:16, 29-30). Jesus said, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign!” (Mt 12:39). 

Jesus offered instead that we should be led by the Holy Spirit. John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” And then we’ll have peace: Paul said in Colossians 3:15 (KJV): “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

January 29 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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