HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH
A Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, April 20, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online atand will remain available throughout the day and the week.
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Good morning! It’s April 20th. I know that because I had to go look at the calendar; because I don’t know what day it is anymore without looking. Today for our Daily Dose of Good News, I’m going to read Judges 6:36-40 which is about Gideon. This is the time period where God raised up military leaders to lead the Israelites. So in this, previous to this text, God has asked Gideon to tear down an altar. Gideon was nervous about that, so Gideon basically snuck out in the middle of night and ripped it down- this altar towards Ba’al. Because Gideon was scared of what the people might do, if they knew that he had defiled this altar. And, God took care of Gideon in that. God protected Gideon from the people in that. So now, God has asked Gideon to lead a military expedition. Here is Gideon’s response:
Then Gideon said to God,“ In order to see whether you will deliver Israel by my hand, as you have said, 37 I am going to lay 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 deliver 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, “Do not let your anger burn against me, let me speak one more time; let me, please, make trial with the fleece just once more; let it be dry only on the fleece, and on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.
Here ends the reading.
I think it’s wonderful that God meets Gideon right where he is. Just like God met Thomas right where he is- in our Gospel lesson yesterday. Thomas needed to put his hand in all of Jesus’s boo-boo’s and scars and cuts and wounds to know that, that was real. In this text, Gideon is saying: God, I think You’re talking to me- but I want to be sure. I don’t want to mess this up. I need to know for sure that this is You. So can you give me some tangible proof? Can you verify this for me clearly? And God does. And what I love, is that then Gideon says: Do it again. Please. I love that Gideon is anxious about getting it wrong. Gideon is worried. Gideon is fearful. And it’s not because Gideon is a scaredy cat! There are legitimate reasons for Gideon to be fearful! Gideon is getting ready to go into battle! So, Gideon wants to make sure that Gideon has heard God correctly and thoroughly, so that Gideon knows what to do. So I love that Gideon says Can we please try that again- do a second experiment? and God says Okay. So in both of those, Gideon takes a fleece, puts it outside, and leaves it in God’s hands.
I think that’s such a great example for us-particularly right now. Because there’s a lot for us to leave in God’s hands right now- as we feel out of control with the pandemic and as the numbers grow in terms of those who get sick, and those who have died from covid-19. We’re starting to know people- who have been infected, who have been sick, who have died. We know places where our loved ones are- where the disease has been present. So, we worry. We’re anxious- like Gideon. Another area where we’re anxious, is in the financial ramifications of this. We haven’t talked about this as much, but there’s reason to be anxious about finances in this. We certainly have people in the congregation who have lost their jobs. There are about 22 million who have applied for unemployment. That is a huge number in the U.S. It’s understandable, it’s realistic that we would be fearful or anxious about that- just like Gideon is fearful and anxious. He’s worried that maybe he’ll be destroyed. Maybe some of you today, worry about being financially destroyed in this. In addition to having yourself or loved ones get sick. You could be battling a lot of fear right now- just like Gideon.
But what I love is that Gideon took this fleece and put it outside and left it in God’s hands. And instead of watching the fleece, to see what happened… right? Gideon puts it outside on this threshing floor and goes inside and lets God be in charge of it. And then Gideon comes back out to see… hmmm…. what did God do? Knowing and believing and trusting that God is going to do something. So it’s wonderful encouragement for us- in trusting God. Both in releasing it, instead of stewing on it, or agitating about it- to release our anxieties and our fears to God AND to let God be in charge of doing something with it. It’s a great example, in Gideon’s story, about trusting God, and then God encouraging him to trust a little more, and a little more, and a little more. So, you can read all of Judges 6 and 7- for the five minutes scoop on that. But I think it’s something worth considering today, is there anything that God is saying to you: Can you trust me in this? Can you trust me a little bit more? And can you trust me a little bit more? Because I’m a God who is faithful.
Have a great day everybody. Bye-bye.