What do you think of Gideon? In Judges chapters 6-8, we meet a nobody named Gideon whose faith seems remarkably flawed. When Jesus appears to Gideon, Gideon wants a sign to prove that his guest is actually God. Later in the chapter, Gideon doesn’t believe God will keep his promise, so he asks for a second sign involving a fleece. Then, still afraid, he asks for a third sign. Then, in chapter 8, God still finds Gideon shaking in his sandals, so he gives him a fourth sign. Talk about testing God’s patience!
But that’s not Gideon’s biggest problem. Read his story to the end, and you’ll find that the real problem is not Gideon’s four signs but rather the fact that he doesn’t ask for a fifth. After a mighty victory in battle, successful Gideon doesn’t need God anymore. And his life ends in catastrophic failure, a golden object used for idolatry. “Gideon made the gold into an ephod . . . and it became a snare to Gideon and his family” (Judges 8:27).
If God has given you great success—reaching retirement, the blessing of a new child, a dream job—learn from Gideon’s mistake. Stay desperate. Pray continually. Begin each day in the Word, seeking trustworthy “signs” of God’s presence and his plans for you. After all, we need Jesus just as much today as we did when our faith journey began. Thankfully, Jesus longs to be with you always, to the very end of your life on earth—and beyond!