An angel of the Lord challenges Gideon to lead the revolt against the Midianites. Gideon explains that he is the weakest of the weak. He asks for a sign in the form of a fleece that God turns moist one morning, and then dries the next morning.

What will be the sign…? Judges 6:36-40

“Putting out a fleece” is different from bargaining with God. It is not saying “If you are really there, do this or that.” It is not meant to answer doubts or ask for something. It is a search for confirmation, for guidance to do what God wills.

Stirring stories claim signs seen, action taken, with breathtaking results. Most “fleece putting” stretches credibility. A young man turned toward African mission work because he met three Africans in three days. He was found unfit for such ministry.

If you want to use this passage as a proof-text for testing the LORD to see if something you are planning is His will or not – go ahead.  But you miss the point of the passage.  The author of Judges was showing the weakness of Gideon to highlight the Lord’s strength. He was showing Gideon’s fear to highlight God’s patience and grace. 

Gideon’s story shows a God who is willing to act in spite of the unwillingness of his people to take a stand for him. The Israelites would have rather dig themselves holes and crawl in after them. They cried out to him for help.  He sent the most unlikely hero to save them, so that the Lord might get the glory. Don’t get fleeced, defrauding your faith, by throwing fleeces. Just take God at His Word.

"Now faith is the conviction concerning those things that are in hope as if it were these things in action, and the revelation of those things that are unseen." Hebrews 11:1