God Conquers Doubts

           Is it wrong to have doubts? No, because having uncertainty is a natural part of life. The issues with doubts occur when people dwell on them without seeking an answer and when they go to the wrong source. If I was about to go on a fun date with my wife, but was doubting my physique, then continuously looking at myself in a mirror is not going to help. Neither would driving across town, finding a random stranger, and asking them, “Do I look pretty?” Those solutions would only result in further anxiety, uncertainty, and cause us to miss our dinner. My wife would be the best source to resolve my doubts because she will compassionately be honest with me and I trust her enough to help me pick out an outfit that I feel confident in. Therefore, the best source to resolve doubts, is one that is honest, trusted, and loving.

            When spiritual doubts arise, God is the best source to resolve them. In the Old Testament, Gideon is regarded as one of the faithful heroes of Israel because with God’s help he delivered the Israelites from the hands of Midian. Although, when Gideon was first called by God, he developed doubts. In Judges 6:11-13, Gideon said to an angel of God, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The Lord responded to Gideon’s spiritual doubt with compassionate reassurance saying, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”

            But Gideon’s doubts persisted so he answered, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.” With confident assurance again, The Lord tells Gideon that he will be with Him. Still lacking in confidence, Gideon insisted in seeing a sign as further proof of assurance from God. With loving patience, God told him prepare unleavened cakes and goat meat as an offering and when he did the Lord sent down an angel to accept. After, Judges 6:22-23 records Gideon saying, “‘Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.’” Therefore Gideon built an alter to the Lord and named it Jehovah Shalom (The Lord is Peace).

            In Joshua 6:25-26, the Lord commanded him to destroy the idolatrous altars in the middle of the night, build one in His name, and sacrifice one of his father’s bulls to Him. Gideon did as the Lord commanded and when the idolators woke up in the morning they wanted to kill him. God delivered on His promise and had him saved by his father because he spoke to the crowd to let Baal deal with his son. By this point the relationship between the God and Gideon had been solidified. However, doubts still remained so he said to God, “Behold, I am laying 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 shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” (Judges 6:37) In the morning the fleece was dry and yet, Gideon pleaded with God to do it again as the final proof of assurance. The Lord compassionately agreed and afterward He had finally conquered Gideon’s doubts. Thus, Judges chapter seven describes how with God, Gideon miraculously became Israel’s deliverer from Midian.

            In Hebrews chapter 11, the Bible commends Gideon as being a man of faith. We might ask ourselves, “How is Gideon regarded as a man of faith when he had such strong doubts?” James 1:5-6 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” In the New Testament, when the Pharisees asked for wisdom and signs from Jesus, they sought an opportunity to trap and kill Him. Meanwhile, Gideon sought God to truly dispel and conquer his own self-doubts. As a Christian, it is easy to want to judge Gideon’s actions as unrighteous, but the Lord saw Gideon’s faithful heart and decided to have mercy. When you have doubts, do you seek God, the most loving and trustworthy source to dispel them?