I was doing my Bible reading in the book of Judges today, and read about Gideon (Judges 6-7). I’ve noticed before that God gives Gideon a lot of encouragement and affirmation, and thought I’d talk about it.
When God first calls Gideon to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites, He starts by calling him a valiant hero. Gideon is quite surprised, not only by the title but also that God is even still with his people. God assures Him that He means it, and Gideon asks for a sign. God gives him one, and after a brief scare, Gideon builds an altar and gets further instructions.
As Gideon gathers the army, he again asks for a sign, but twice. God gives it both times. Then after the army is gathered, God pares it down to just 300 men.
Right before the battle, God tells Gideon that if he’s still afraid of going up against the Midianites, he can go and sneak up to the camp to hear something one of the soldiers has to say. Upon reaching the camp, Gideon hears a soldier recounting a dream about a barley loaf crashing into camp and flattening a tent. As a side note, it doesn’t say how big the barley loaf is, so I’m picturing a regular sized bread loaf coming out of nowhere onto a tent, and the tent just crashing down as if overreacting!
But that wasn’t the important part. The important part was the other soldier’s response, which was God’s sign to Gideon that He would indeed defeat the Midianites for him. So Gideon was quite encouraged, heading back to camp and getting everyone ready to go.
There’s something to be seen here. While faith is important and when God tells us to do something we should, sometimes it is okay to ask God for encouragement. God has no problem giving you extra encouragement and direction if you really need it. God will make it abundantly clear to you what He wants you to do, you just need to ask and listen.