Is “Putting Out the Fleece” Biblical?

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Is “Putting Out the Fleece” Biblical?

Judges 6:36-40              December 10, 2003

Gideon put out the fleece because he needed courage, not because he needed to know what the Lord wanted of him (6:14-18).

Some Christians today “put out the fleece” either because they don’t know what God wants them to do or because they really don’t want to do what God wants them to do – what they already know.

It is not a way to know what God wants. It is of your own imagination on your own terms. You are putting God on your terms – testing him.

Should we test God?

We wrongly try to test God.

God’s purpose is to test us.

Testing that doesn’t involve God directly.

We rightfully test ourselves.

We may rightfully test God.

We may rightfully test others.


“Test” – 55 times

Exodus 16:4  Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.

Exodus 17:2  So they quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses replied, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the LORD to the test?"

Exodus 20:20  Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."

Deuteronomy 6:16  Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah.

Deuteronomy 8:2  Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

Deuteronomy 8:16  He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.

Judges 2:22  I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did."

Judges 3:1  These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan

Judges 3:4  They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD’s commands, which he had given their forefathers through Moses.

Judges 6:39  Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew."

1 Kings 10:1  When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.

1 Chronicles 29:17  I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.

2 Chronicles 9:1  When the queen of Sheba heard of Solomon’s fame, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. Arriving with a very great caravan— with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones— she came to Solomon and talked with him about all she had on her mind.

2 Chronicles 32:31  But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.

Job 7:18  that you examine him every morning and test him every moment?

Job 12:11  Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?

Psalms 17:3  Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

Psalms 26:2  Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

Psalms 78:18  They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.

Psalms 78:41  Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel.

Psalms 78:56  But they put God to the test and rebelled against the Most High; they did not keep his statutes.

Psalms 106:14  In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test.

Psalms 139:23  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Ecclesiastes 2:1  I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless.

Isaiah 7:12  But Ahaz said, "I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test."

Jeremiah 6:27  "I have made you a tester of metals and my people the ore, that you may observe and test their ways.

Jeremiah 9:7  Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: "See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?

Jeremiah 11:20  But, O LORD Almighty, you who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause.

Jeremiah 12:3  Yet you know me, O LORD; you see me and test my thoughts about you. Drag them off like sheep to be butchered! Set them apart for the day of slaughter!

Lamentations 3:40  Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.

Daniel 1:12  "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.

Zechariah 13:9  This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’"

Malachi 3:10  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Matthew 4:7  Jesus answered him, "It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’"

Matthew 19:3  Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

Mark 8:11  The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven.

Luke 4:12  Jesus answered, "It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’"

Luke 10:25  On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

John 6:6  He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Acts 5:9  Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also."

Acts 15:10  Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?

Romans 12:2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 Corinthians 3:13  his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.

1 Corinthians 10:9  We should not test the Lord, as some of them did— and were killed by snakes.

2 Corinthians 2:9  The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.

2 Corinthians 8:8  I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.

2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you— unless, of course, you fail the test?

2 Corinthians 13:6  And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.

2 Corinthians 13:7  Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.

Galatians 6:4  Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,

1 Thessalonians 5:21  Test everything. Hold on to the good.

James 1:12  Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

1 John 4:1  Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Revelation 2:10  Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Revelation 3:10  Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

“Tested”- 29 times

Genesis 22:1  Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied.

Genesis 42:15  And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.

Genesis 42:16  Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!"

Exodus 15:25  Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them.

Exodus 17:7  And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"

Numbers 14:22  not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times—

Deuteronomy 33:8  About Levi he said: "Your Thummim and Urim belong to the man you favored. You tested him at Massah; you contended with him at the waters of Meribah.

Job 23:10  But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

Job 28:27  then he looked at wisdom and appraised it; he confirmed it and tested it.

Job 34:36  Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost for answering like a wicked man!

Psalms 66:10  For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.

Psalms 81:7  In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. <Selah>

Psalms 95:9  where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did.

Psalms 119:140  Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.

Proverbs 27:21  The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.

Ecclesiastes 7:23  All this I tested by wisdom and I said, "I am determined to be wise"— but this was beyond me.

Isaiah 28:16  So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

Isaiah 48:10  See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

Daniel 1:14  So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

Matthew 16:1  The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

Matthew 22:35  One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

Mark 10:2  Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"

Luke 11:16  Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

Acts 20:19  I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.

Romans 16:10  Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.

1 Timothy 3:10  They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

Hebrews 3:9  where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.

Hebrews 11:17  By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,

Revelation 2:2  I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.

“Testing” – 5 times

Deuteronomy 13:3  you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Ezekiel 21:13  "‘Testing will surely come. And what if the scepter of Judah, which the sword despises, does not continue? declares the Sovereign LORD.’

Luke 8:13  Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

Hebrews 3:8  do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert,

James 1:3  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

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