From the Word: 36 And Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, 37 see, I am placing 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 will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” 38 And it was so. When he arose early the next day, and squeezed the fleece, he wrung dew out of the fleece, a full bowl of water. (Judges 6:36–38)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments
The First Commandment
You shall have no other gods before me.
Reflect for yourself; make inquiries; then tell me. Those who have employed all their care and diligence in the accumulation great possessions and wealth, what have they secured in the end? You will discover that they have wasted their effort and labor, or if they have accumulated great treasure, that they have been turned to dust and disappeared. They never found happiness in their wealth, and it never reached the third generation.
Pulling It Together: If you would trust anything in this life, trust that which has been from the beginning, that truth which continues to flow down to us today. “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1). Trust in the Word. He is faithful, not only to care for your earthly needs but to sanctify your whole person—body, mind, and spirit—in his peace (1 Thes 5:22–24). Trust in the Word who spoke his peaceful benediction over you at the font. Trust him because he said so, because he promised. Take to heart the sign for Gideon, who arose in the morning to find the fleece soaked with water while all around was dry. Have you been baptized? Though all around you seems dry and dead, his promise over you remains. Do not question God’s word. He is full of grace and truth, and is faithful to keep his word to you, bestowing true happiness, grace without limit.
Prayer: Sanctify me by your truth, Lord; your word is truth. Amen.
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God's Reluctant Leaders is a nine-session Bible Study that focuses on the stories of three biblical characters: Jonah, Gideon, and Moses. Sessions explore how God works to create faith within those whom He calls to serve His mission. The study is written at an introductory level, to be led by a lay leader or pastor in a small-group question and discussion format. It would serve as an excellent resource for monthly women's group meetings, or in an informal small-group setting.