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Gideon and The Fleece

The favor of God is upon us and within us, but learning how to appropriate it may be a real challenge.

 

Not long ago I saw an old western movie, on television, called the “Magnificent Seven,” perhaps you remember it? It was about a small Mexican village that was continually being overrun by bandits, who would come down from the mountains and steal food from the villagers, rather than grow their own. The villagers hired seven American gunfighters who came and fought off the banditos and saved them. As I watched the movie unfold I realized that it was, in fact, a Bible story, based upon an actual event that happened to the nation of Israel, back around 1000 B.C. and it that had been rewritten in a western setting for television. I quickly got my Bible out and begin to read Judges chapters 6-8, and just as I suspected, there it was, but instead of seven gunfighters, it was a man named Gideon and 300 men against the nation of Midian.

 

 

The Israelites were shepherds and farmers. They would toil all year long, bring in their crops, and then at the time of harvest, the Midianites, like the bandits, would sweep down from the mountains and raid the cities. They would take all of the grain that the Israelites had grown, however, they would leave them just enough to live on and replant for another year. Then, the next year, it would start all over again! Every time they would start to get ahead, here came the Midianites, and the Israelites would find themselves back to square one. We have been there. . . fighting and warring, trying to get ahead, but it seems like every time we think we are going to advance, something goes wrong. One night an angel appeared to Gideon face to face, and told him that he was going to deliver Israel from the Midianites, but he didn’t believe it. So Gideon said, “Lord if this is true, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” Sure enough, when Gideon arose early the next morning, he squeezed the fleece together, and wrung from it a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more; let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” And God did so that night. It was just the opposite, it was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on the ground.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 19:12 that, “The King’s favor is like dew on the grass.” The Bible is filled with types and symbols. Here we see that dew is a type of the favor that flows from a King. If you live in a Kingdom, there is nothing better than having the King show you his favor. We Christians are part of a Kingdom, and Jesus is our King, and His favor is upon us! The wool fleece came from  sheep and throughout the Word of God, Jesus is referred to as “the Lamb of God.” When Jesus came to earth, the favor (dew) of God was upon Him, but not the earth. When Jesus hung on the cross, the Bible teaches us that God forsook Him and rejected Him. In other words, like with Gideon, one day the dew was on the fleece, but the next day it came upon the whole earth. One day the favor of God was upon Jesus, but on the cross the favor of God left Him, and then, because of the cross, God’s favor came upon the earth.

 

Here is where it gets even better. In the story of Gideon, the dew (favor) that came upon the earth was not the same dew that was on the fleece. Gideon took the dew that was upon the fleece and rung it out into a bowl. A bowl; an earthen vessel made of clay. Now look at this verse in the New Testament, it says, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels (our physical body, made of clay) that the Excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.”( KJV II Cor. 4:7) The same exact favor that was on the fleece (Jesus) is now in the born again believer, WOW! There are some things that a Christian can grow in and some things he can not. For example; you can not grow in sonship or righteousness. When you were born again, you were born as God’s child, and you were created righteous. That is all part of the new birth. But the Bible tells us in Luke 2:52, “that Jesus increased in favor with God and man,” therefore, we can increase in favor with God and man.

 

Since God compared favor to the early morning dew, let’s look at nature to learn the secrets of the dew. When condensation is present in the atmosphere several things might occur. The obvious of course is rain, but moisture also can create fog and dew. If we awake in the morning, and there is fog in the air, then there was moisture and wind movement going on in the night. But if there is dew on the ground, that means that the wind was calm. The Bible teaches us that we are to labor to enter into God’s rest, and cease from our own works. Resting in the finished work of Jesus is something you can grow in, and as you learn to rest in Him, you will find that the favor of God (dew) will increase more and more.

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