For Our Admonition Part 16
“Gathering at Jezreel and the Signs of the Fleece”
Key Verses: Jdg 6:25 – 6:40
The story of Gideon among other lessons is teaching us that God’s people do not become warriors for the Lord in a ten-second sinners prayer. A mighty man of valor “in the making”, Gideon, remains needy for signs and confirmation from the Lord. Such is the state of immaturity where our faith is weak and needs to be propped up. We ended our last study with Gideon being sent on his first conquest to cut down Baal’s altar and grove with instructions to then built an altar to the Lord in its place.
Jdg 6:25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:
Jdg 6:26 And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.
Jdg 6:27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.
Coming into the faith requires us to lay down our life and follow the Lord. This is the symbolism of offering the young bullock of seven years as we now begin to confront the lies and false doctrines that lead us to worship the dragon and Baal (Rev 13:4). Our following of the carnal thoughts and doctrines (who are the innumerable Midianites) is being replaced as we battle and begin to judge the land in obedience. The cutting down of the woody grove is what hewers and fellers of trees, the meaning of Gideon is doing when we obey the Lord’s commandments. When the new man (aka the “ax man”) goes into action, judgment is arriving at the house of God, which house we are as His elect (1Co 3:16).
Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood (the Midianites within and without ourselves), and it shall devour them.
Young in the faith, Gideon takes along ten men which is “his own flesh” in Spirit in performing the Lord’s commands. The symbolism of the number ten represents the perfection of flesh which is never good enough to enter the Kingdom of God (1Co 15:50) and which shows that the true law of faith has not yet been given. Gideon fears his father household meaning he fears men and is a respecter of people contrary to faith in God.
Pro 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
Deu 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it
When we fear men, we do our godly deeds in the dark for fear of reprisal. But the day comes when Gideon and we are able to step up in faith and fear only the Lord. With faith comes increased comfort in the reproaches, persecution, and hatred from those outside the covenant of faith of Jesus Christ. Gideon’s first act in judging the land immediately manifests the enmity and hatred (in type) against the Lord and His Chosen Christ.
Jdg 6:28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built.
Jdg 6:29 And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.
Jdg 6:30 Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.
Jdg 6:31 And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.
Jdg 6:32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.
Jdg 6:33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel.
Before we can successfully take on the Midianites, we need alignment and to be of one mind with Christ. The lies and worship of Baal are first to go. Our inward enemies, the Midianites and Amalekites and the children of the east (i.e. all our fleshly and carnal thoughts); are aroused when the new man stands up and begins tearing down the altars of Baal. The nations of this world within us get angry at God’s ax men that are beginning to deliver Israel.
Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged …
These enemies then gather in a place called Jezreel for the coming war against the Lord and His Christ. It is in this fruitful valley that God will begin to sow the seeds of righteousness and the carnal nations within us are being put to death.
H3157, yizre‛ê’l, yiz-reh-ale’
From H2232 and H410; God will sow; Jizreel, the name of two places in Palestine and of two Israelites: – Jezreel.
Jezreel is where God sows new life through the death of the old man. Jezreel is infamous for bloodshed and death in the Bible. Those stories and events foretell of the blessing to the new man as the old man is killed off via judgment. The rejected first King Saul (1Sa 31:8), the evil Jezebel (2Ki 9:36) and all the descendant’s of the evil King Ahab’s (2Ki 10:7), among others all died in the area of Jezreel. We come together as ONE with the mind of Christ in the day of Jezreel. This is that day, the day (process) of judgment as the old man decreases (dies) and the new man increases.
Hos 1:11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
The valley of Jezreel is also known as the valley of Megiddon or Megiddo. The Greek word for Armageddon comes from Megiddo H4023. What this means is that spiritually speaking, the decisive end battle against our flesh takes place in the same valley where Gideon is smiting the Midianites and freeing Israel for a season.
Rev 16:16 And he gathered them (the Midianites) together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
The Spirit of the Lord is already moving on Gideon and Israel is called together for war. The men of God from Abiezer (meaning the fiery sons of God) who are the Israel and armies of God are gathered with Gideon.
Jdg 6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.
Jdg 6:35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.
The Spirit of the Lord moves Gideon to blow the trumpet and gather Israel in preparing for war. Blowing trumpets is speaking warning of pending war and judgment of God. The sound of the trumpets are words of fire to the heathen within and without ourselves that put God’s enemies to flight (Rev 4:1).
Num 10:8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance forever throughout your generations.
Num 10:9 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy (Midianites) that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.
Joe 2:1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants (Midianites) of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
We will see later in the actual battle with the Midianites the importance that every man and warrior in battle carry and blow their trumpets (Jdg 7:16-18).
Despite all of this, Gideon reveals his weak in the faith and fearing of men status by asking the Lord for signs and confirmation of what has already been declared. Gideon is becoming that “mighty man of valor” declared when he was chosen and met the Angel but he is only begining to get there (Rom 4:17). Gideon makes the so-called “Bible hall of faith” that Paul wrote in Hebrews 11! It is through great faith that the kingdoms of this earth, within and without will be subdued.
Heb 11:32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:
Heb 11:33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Heb 11:34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Gideon, like all carnal men that walked before him and after him (doubting Thomas’s), will be seeking after signs in our unbelief. Yet the Lord knows this and as the Potter set it up this way.
Joh 4:48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.
Gideon waited for the gathering of his own people to ask the Lord for the signs of the fleece. The Lord gives the immature signs to counter unbelief of being chosen of God to do the seemingly impossible. The Lord helped Moses out with the same challenge in unbelief taking place while dwelling with many Midianites.
Exo 4:4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:
Exo 4:5 That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.
The Lord even gave Moses a second sign of the hand with leprosy being healed. But as was later seen in Exodus, these signs convert nobody in a lasting way. It takes the death of the firstborn (the first Adam) to convert the carnal mind and eliminate our doubts. The real sign and our conversion process comes about little by little, by the process of maturity that is symbolized in the number three.
Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth
Seeking and inquiring about God’s will is a good thing and we should be going to the source that is the Word which is the lamp unto our feet (Psa 119:105). It is even commanded that we seek wisdom from the Lord which includes confirmation from the Lord and His multitude of counselors.
1Ch 14:10 And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand.
Pro 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
We see the same admonishment from the Lord to ask and the promise that it shall be given (Jas 1:5).
Mat 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
With Israel’s forces now gathered together, Gideon asks the Lord to confirm his calling.
Jdg 6:36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
Jdg 6:37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
Jdg 6:38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
Jdg 6:39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
Jdg 6:40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
Asking God for signs to prove something He has already told us, is missing the mark of the higher calling and as such it is sin. But even our sins (Isa 63:17) and our immaturity (Ecc 3:1) is all the Lord’s work in us (Isa 64:8). We are given these experiences of Gideon and all the Patriarchs to teach us how we should walk and to learn about the process (1Co 10:11) of our salvation.
Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight (By fleeces)
Gideon, like all of God’s people, is full of hypocrisy and inequity when first called of God. But here is the best news that reminds us that salvation and our victory is not up to us but it is up to the Lord.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Let’s now look at the symbols of the signs of the fleece and then we can know what Gideon was really asking for because all of these words are signified. The truth is hidden in symbols and parables. The Scriptures mean what they mean not what they literally say.
Hos 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
Mar 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
Fleece: Fleece is the cutting (shearing) of wool from a sheep (or a goat) that represent our own works. We are the sheep of His pasture and our own works are what keeps us warm and covering our sin (nakedness) until it is all exposed in our baptism with fire (Rev 3:18). In the positive (Heb 4:11), fleece is our covering, when we are young and immature which protects us from the elements of the earth. In the negative, this wool represents the self-righteousness of the law and carnal thinking that we are saving ourselves. This covering will make us (the priests of God) to sweat versus resting in Christ and wearing His clothes.
Eze 44:17 And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.
Eze 44:18 They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat.
As we progress from being young to mature, we cease being double minded and conflicted and mixing and matching our spiritual clothing.
Deu 22:11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.
Gideon asking God to make the fleece wet with dew is asking for confirmation that the works of our hands in doing His service will be blessed. A good request albeit an immature mindset. Applying the spiriutal significance of dew makes this clearer.
The Dew: In the positive dew signifies the blessings of God that water the earth and bring Israel abundance and fertility (Gen 27:28; Deu 33:13, Zec 8:12). Dew is the Word that waters the earth in our youth (immaturity) when our heavens are still shaded in darkness before we are given the former and latter rains.
Gen 2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
Gen 2:6 But there went up a mist (dew) from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
Dew in the negative reflects immaturity as dew cannot remain in the heat of the day, meaning the heavy trials that come with our baptism by fire.
Hos 13:3 Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney
Dew in the physical world is water gathering from condensation mostly at night. Condensation occurs when the surface radiates its heat and the water droplets accumulate faster than they are evaporated in the cooler air. Applying the lesson of Romans 1:20, spiritual dew is a blessing, as water is needed to bring life. The accumulation of water signifies us growing and standing in faith, in our trials and is the favor of God given a very precious few.
Deu 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
Pro 19:12 The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.
The absence of Dew or Dry: The absence of God’s dew or rain on a surface reflects a cursed condition. A land without dew or rain is a dry land which is a place of famine and where nothing will grow or increase in the Lord (Amo 8:11, Hag 1:10, Deu 28:24). Confronting the enemies of God begins by the withholding of the moisture (dew and rain) that is needed to sustain life.
1Ki 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
When it’s hot and when the sun is on the land no dew will be found. The symbolism of a dry earth is a land (the old man, the rejected King Saul) that is under judgment where the heat and fiery sun of God’s Word is beating down. The curse of the old man is the blessing for the new man and the other side of the two-edged sword.
Rev 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
2Sa 1:21 “O mountains of Gilboa, Let there be no dew nor rain upon you, Nor fields of offerings. For the shield of the mighty is cast away there! The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.
The Ground/Earth: The land or earth referenced here is the threshing floor (Jdg 6:11) which is where we create spiritual food out of the crops the Lord is giving us. That food nourishing the new man, is the dying body of the old man (Num 14:9) as we begin to judge the land. Christ increases, and the old man is decreased and consumed.
Joh 6:54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
A land without dew is a land under judgment bearing God’s wrath which is exactly what is needed to cleanse of the innumerable Midianites. Lest there be any confusion, it is a good thing for judgment to be on the land within us, that is the process that is saving us (Exo 6:6, Isa 26:9, Rev 15:8, etc).
Isa 1:27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
Asking for our works (the fleece) to be blessed is asking our earth (Jer 22:9) to be cursed and the dew withheld. That is the way of salvation and how the Midianites are being cleared from the promised land. The second sign flips this as in the end God’s moisture that is His Word must cover the earth for green things to grow and ultimately the more mature fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).
We are all Gideon that first need assurance that the Lord has truly chosen us to work in His Kingdom. Such is the objective of the first sign of the fleece. Will God bless our works in His service and bring what is needed to deliver us (Israel) of the Midianites? The Lord answers these petitions in bringing us blessings to confirm His Word in us as we begin to get small victories (Zec 4:10) on the road to overcoming the Midianites.
Luk 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils (lying spirits) are subject unto us through thy name.
Secondly, those chosen of the Lord need assurance the fruit of our work for Him is being blessed. Asking the ground to be wet with dew and the fleece (our own works) to be dry is the better and more mature request. It is the inward works and fruit that is most important and where the Lord looks for righteousness. Asking for the reverse sign of the dew (blessing), is Gideon asking for a blessing for the promised land that is Israel. This is a good prayer as our obedience, ruling over sin, brings forth the blessings to the land.
Deu 28:8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
The Lord is always working good through evil (Gen 50:20). Seeking assurances that the Lord is blessing the land with the dew, shows us the purpose of spiritual warfare (judgment) that “is, was and will be” necessary to sanctify the land within and without in the appointed times. Gideon does not know any of this yet, but his story is written to minister to us (1Pe 1:9-12).
Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Amazingly enough, Gideon is still not done needing signs from the Lord to bolster his faith. When it comes time to actually fight by faith, Gideon becomes fearful again and a man is sent by the Lord to reveal a dream (a sign) that turned his fear (Jdg 7:9-15). We are blessed for believing without seeing because our trust in the Lord with all of ourselves is rewarded. It is commanded that we NOT prove or try the Lord. However, there is one exception where the Lord wants us to try Him and to prove Him. He wants to pour more blessings out upon us as He rewards those who seek Him in faith.
Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Now being given the two signs of the fleece, Gideon, is strengthened and blows the trumpet and prepares Israel for battle (Judges 7). Next, the Lord will have more lessons for us in the life of Gideon including the parable of reducing the assembled 32,000 strong army down to just 300 men. That story and parable has great spiritual significance and has been the subject of many detailed studies and FAQ on the various Body of Christ websites. We will bring that to our remembrance and look further into Gideon which is teaching us about our experience in living by every word.
Sincere questions and comments are always welcome. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org