36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel by my hand, as You said, 37 I will put a fleece of wool here on the threshing floor. If dew is only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, I will know that You will deliver Israel by my strength, as You said.” 38 And that is what happened. When he got up early in the morning, he squeezed the fleece and wrung dew out of it, filling a bowl with water.
39 Gideon then said to God, “Don’t be angry with me; let me speak one more time. Please allow me to make one more test with the fleece. Let it remain dry, and the dew be all over the ground.” 40 That night God did as Gideon requested: only the fleece was dry, and dew was all over the ground.
(Judges 6:36 – 40)
I remember that I used to be critical of Gideon —
Why did he need TWO Miracles to believe God?
Recently, I had a miracle occur in my life… and though I know “logically” that it is miraculous, I still find it hard to believe…
First off, though, I would like to discuss what a miracle is. For the purpose of this discussion I will define two types:
- Events that violate Natural Laws
- Events that are extremely improbable
The first type “impossible” events are miracles like a sun that doesn’t set for more than 24 hours (in the lower latitudes) (Joshua 10:13) and being raised from the dead.
(For the Atheist, who can “explain away” these events and even tell us how life came from non-life, please explain how something, the WHOLE UNIVERSE, came from nothing… If you can admit that we humans don’t know everything, that’s a great start 😉)
While the first type of miracles is a fascinating topic, I want to focus on the second type; primarily because I believe my miracle is in this category 😊
The examples of this second type come from story of Gideon recounted above. Both of this “miracles” incorporate events that are theoretically possible… It IS possible that after the morning dew, the ground can dry and a small area, the fleece, can be wet. And opposite conditions are possible as well. We can conceive each these events happening spontaneously although quite seldomly.
If Gideon only made the first request of God, it would be next to impossible for this event to happen “spontaneously”, but… possible. What makes this event infinitesimally improbable is that Gideon uses the same setup and then asks for the opposite result!
It become extremely more probable that the requested results were orchestrated than they occurred spontaneously – a miracle!
Still… for some of us, like myself, it hard to believe.
Why did Gideon need TWO Miracles?!?!
We humans are conditioned to be “grounded,” especially in the modern era. We look upon ancient cultures and laugh at the idea that they though lightning where sparks from godly weapons and/or tools.
We believe that molecular interactions, gravitational forces, and other manifestations of scientific understanding explain all that occurs.
Additionally, no one wants to be labeled an ignorant fanatic.
But still… we still have the sense that events occur outside of the physical world. Things such as premonitions and extra sensory perceptions. I would argue that if you look closely at what happens in the world, including in the realm of science, there are the fingerprints of an orchestrator of events – of God.
But there is one other “dirty little secret” that we humans hate to admit. We LOVE to feel In Control. To believe that there is something, a world, Someone beyond our senses, who challenges our sense that we understand everything, creates a sense of helplessness.
To admit that God exists and that he interacts in our lives, sometimes in supernatural ways, can be scary. We have to trust… we have to leap in the unperceivable and do what can seem impossible and trust that God will catch us and direct us. And… it’s not comfortable.
This is why Gideon needed two miracles. Even though it was much more plausible that God did the first miracle than that the event occurred spontaneously.
Gideon knew what God asked of him was terrifying. Gideon was to fight against a huge army much much larger than Israel’s. (Judges 7:12)
As I said near the beginning recently a miracle occurred in my own life. I realize that is has to be a miracle, because the combination of events that happened were impossible.
But I realize a “clear” miracle was needed to spurn me into action. God knows my past… God knows my fears. God also knows that some fears are so strong that they occlude my vision. He knows that I will react in some situations in response to fear rather than through an accurate assessment of the situation.
So today, I have written this post to remind me (and maybe others who may question God’s will in your lives) that I indeed experienced a miracle and that I “keep the faith!”
But… admittedly, I’ve also ask God to keep reminding me about what I need to do, if I start to loose my faith.
…“I do believe! Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)