So Gideon to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.”
And He said, “I will remain until you return.”
Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them. The angel of God said to him. “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.
Then the angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight.
When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.”
The LORD said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD Is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. (Judges 6:17-24, NASB)
Talking with Christians I hear that they are usually hesitant to go forward in their calling. We all want confirmation that we are hearing from God, and not moving on with our own plan. I believe this is a prudent thing to practice in our lives. Gideon shows us in this passage that the poor in spirit are perfectly alright to pause and get confirmation that they are following the Lord’s plan (Psalm 31:3, 32:8, 48:14, and 73:24; and Isaiah 58:11).
Show me a sign. This could be a dangerous request. I don’t recommend using this method because we have two advantages over Gideon. First we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us Who is our Counselor (John 16:13). We also have the advantage of having in our possession the Word of God, which is all the revelation we need to live a godly life in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 17:14; Psalm 119:38, 89, 105, 133, 160-162, and 169; and 138:2). With these tools we do not need to request a sign like Gideon did, but there are principles expressed here that we should implement in our daily lives. Is what you perceive as God’s will against His Word? If not give it a shot, you will soon know through the Holy Spirit if you are going down the wrong path. If where you are heading is wrong jump off that road.
…and bring out my offering and lay it before You. When we seek the guidance of the Lord we are doing what we should be doing as we pointed out. The will of God is our perfect path for us. So ask. Come prayerfully to the Lord in worshipful prayer and with a sacrifice of prayer. We do not bring animal sacrifices to God, but rather we give our lives as a sacrifice as spelled out in Romans 12:1-3. Bring the offering of your life to the LORD daily and you will receive the guidance you need. The poor in spirit gives all and seeks after the will of God.
Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD. Confirmation came to Gideon when his eyes were opened to the will of God. Gideon asked for confirmation. He was submitted to the will. Gideon received confirmation. There is your formula for receiving confirmation in the example of Gideon.
Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD. There are many examples of people building altars in the Bible. In each instance the altar was built after an encounter with the Living One. Gideon is not an exception to this. An altar is where a sacrifice is offered to God. Remember that Scripture teaches us that sacrifices cost us something and the sacrifice we should bring is our lives.
Gideon asks for an additional sign in Judges 6:36-40. Though this may have been a lapse of faith considering what transpired earlier in Chapter Six, it is important to note that the LORD did not indicate that He was angry with this request. It often pays to be a little cautious.
When trying to discern God’s will it is prudent to learn from Gideon. Seek God in prayer and offer the sacrifice of your life to God. Re-read the Scripture references in this reading and pray how they will deepen your understanding.