Condescension of God


 I read this post from NoviceChristian and did some scripture searching of my own.  This is just too big to leave a comment. I offer it up for your consideration. Novice’s post talks about fleecing God. I have never heard that saying before, she gives an example of a Christian praying to God asking for things, little things, things of seemingly little important in the over all scheme of  the world. The Bible talks of Gideon in Judges Chapter 6. The fleecing event in verse 37.  

36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver
Israel through me, as You have spoken,
37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver
Israel through me, as You have spoken.” 38 And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.” 40 God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.

Here is what the study resource list said:NTB -> Condescension Of God; Decision; Dew; Faith; Gideon; Judge; Meteorology And Celestial Phenomena; Miracles; Prayer; Sign; Threshing; Token; Wool 

So I clicked on condescension of God, which leads me to Nave’s Topical Bible:

So God indulges Gideon’s tests. OK. But is Gideon testing God because he believes Him? Because he doesn’t want to do Gods will? Because Gideon has no faith? Because he is mad at God for allowing this to happen to them? V13

 Definition of condescension Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source con·de·scen·sion      /ˌkɒndəˈsɛnʃən/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[kon-duh-sen-shuhn] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation –noun

1. an act or instance of condescending.       

                                  2. behavior that is patronizing or condescending.       

                    3. voluntary assumption of equality with a person regarded as inferior.  ——————————————————————————–[Origin: 1635–45; < LL condéscénsiōn- (s. of condéscénsiō). See con-, descension]       Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[kon-duh-sen-siv] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation, adjective con·de·scen·sive·ly, adverb Unabridged (v 1.1) The act of condescending or an instance of it. Patronizingly superior behavior or attitude.  1.  the trait of displaying arrogance by patronizing those considered inferior  2.  a communication that indicates lack of respect by patronizing the recipient  3.  affability to your inferiors and temporary disregard for differences of position or rank; “the queen’s condescension was intended to make us feel comfortable” 

 (Does this definition sounds sort of, eh, negative to you?)  

 We just read (at church on Sunday) in Genesis where Abram tested God when He was about to destroy Sodom.

If there is just 10 righteous people found there, will You not destroy it? Genesis 18:v32 

  All of the commentaries for these verses seem to lean toward Gideon as being genuine, just needing a little faith booster and paralleling Israel and threshing floor.  
Geneva Study Bible

6:36 And Gideon said unto God, p If thou wilt save
Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
(p) This request proceeds not from infidelity, but that he might be confirmed in his calling. 6:40 And God did so that night: for it was q dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. (q) By which he was assured that it was a miracle of God.   Matthew Henry Concise Comm.Verses 33-40 These signs are truly miraculous, and very significant. Gideon and his men were going to fight the Midianites; could God distinguish between a small fleece of
Israel, and the vast floor of Midian? Gideon is made to know that God could do so. Is Gideon desirous that the dew of Divine grace might come down upon himself in particular? He sees the fleece wet with dew to assure him of it. Does he desire that God will be as the dew to all
Israel? Behold, all the ground is wet. What cause we sinners of the Gentiles have, to bless the Lord that the dew of heavenly blessings, once confined to
Israel, is now sent to all the inhabitants of the earth! Yet still the means of grace are in different measures, according to the purposes of God. In the same congregation, one man’s soul is like Gideon’s moistened fleece, another like the dry ground.
John Wesley Comm.Verse 36
Gideon said – In a way of humble supplication, for the strengthening his own faith, and for the greater encouragement of his soldiers in this great attempt.
Verse 37
On all the earth – That is, upon all that spot of ground which encompasses the fleece.
Verse 39
On the ground – Which was more preternatural than the former instance, because if there be any moisture, such bodies as fleeces of wool are likely to drink it up.
Verse 40
And God did soSee how tender God is, even of the weak; and how ready to condescend to their infirmities! These signs were very expressive. They are going to engage the Midianites. Could God distinguish between a small fleece of
Israel, and the vast floor of Midian? Yes, by this token it appears that he can. Is Gideon desirous, that the dew of divine grace might descend on himself in particular? He sees the fleece wet with dew, to assure him of it. Does he desire, that God will be as the dew to all
Israel? Behold all the ground is wet!

The New John Gill Exposition
of the Entire Bible

and it be dry upon all the earth beside;
meaning not upon all the world, nor even upon all the land of Israel, but upon all the floor about the fleece: then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast said; for the dew being a token of divine favour, see (Hosea 14:5) it would show that Gideon would partake of it, while his enemies would be dry and desolate, and ruin and destruction would be their portion.

Gideon seemed like he was a man of God, in the next chapter he does what the Lord tells him to do, with many gentle nudges from God, in Judges 8 Gideon gets a little cocky when he takes the gold and makes it into a ephod in his town of Ophrah (who does that sound like to you? J ) it becomes a snare to him and his family.

Chapter 8 verse 3333 No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god and 34 did not remember the LORD their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. 35 They also failed to show kindness to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) for all the good things he had done for them.

Oh, I didn’t know this:

1.      ephod a.     priestly garment, shoulder-cape or mantle, outer garment 1.     worn by an ordinary priest and made of white stuff 2.     worn by the high priest – more costly, woven of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and linen threads provided with shoulder-pieces and a breast piece of like material, ornamented with gems and gold

Used by idolatrous priests
Judges 8:27; 17:5; 18:14

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

(3) The ephod mentioned in Judges 17:5; 18:14; Hosea 3:4 is associated with teraphim and other idolatrous images. We may frankly confess that we do not know the shape, size and use of the ephod in these cases, though even here also the ephod may well have been a priestly garment. The same remark holds good of the ephod made by Gideon, and which became an object of idolatrous worship in
Israel (Judges 8:27). It has been argued that a vestment would not cost seventeen hundred shekels of gold. Possibly Gideon set up an apparatus of worship containing other articles just as the mother of Micah began with the promise to make a graven image and a molten image, and afterward added an ephod and teraphim (Judges 17:1-5). Moreover, if gems and brilliants were put on Gidcon’s ephod, who can say that it did not cost seventeen hundred shekels?

So back to the fleecing of God. (I kind of go off on side tracks, all the time, but I learn very interesting stuff doing it)

What’s the deal with that? And do people do it and why do people do it and give me other examples of it

(oh, please and thank you!) 

Just a personal note here. When an outcome is already decided, for example, I have had a test of some sort, the result is in and the doctor is to call. Do I pray to God to make the result a good one? Hasn’t it already been tested and decided?

 Or if I’m walking into a store and praying there will be something I need there (because I have been to 800 other stores and it hasn’t been found) isn’t it already gonna be there or not? It’s not gonna magically appear because I pray about it, right?  Is that prayer testing God or is it even the right motivation? Meaning, should I be praying for contentment/peace/grace for whatever result I receive? Or just praying for a good result.       

 Another one, which Novice uses, should I pray for a parking spot so I know God wants me to spend money?  Knowing that there will be a parking spot, hello, it’s a freaking mall; there is ALWAYS a parking spot. When I know darn good and well God wants me to use my money wisely and if I know in my heart I’m spending money I don’t need to or don’t actually have, Why would I pray?I guess I just don’t get it. I think prayer is a sacred thing, and as all things of God, we should never throw prayers around willy-nilly.

God is not our cosmic Santa.

He is the awesome Creator/Sustainer/Justifier/Living Holy God for us to fear in awe.

Blessed be His name!

(I did a little topical study on Gideon, cuz something just isn’t setting right with me about him, more to come…)

6 responses »

  1. Hey Kris! Wow, just start you up, huh? 🙂 I’m glad you found it interesting, and I think, too, the story of Gideon and his fleece are fascinating. Yes, he tested God. And God indulged him. And, in future episodes, God even suggested ways for Gideon to test Him further!

    Between Gideon and all the other examples you gave, think God’s trying to tell us something? Like, maybe, that He wants a two-way conversation, a two-way relationship with us?


  2. Isn’t the condensation of God what happens when the Holy Spirit is out in the cold and then comes in the house and He gets all foggy? I’m pretty sure that’s what it is.

    Great post Kris. I am writing about it over on my blog.

  3. Pingback: Prayer and Coincidence « Whore Church

  4. Thanks for all the hard work you put into this post. Very interesting reading. The only scripture that popped in my head was Luke 4:12 when Jesus was dealing with Satan “And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Or “‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’” Don’t know if that’s applicable or not.

  5. Pingback: Gideon Part Deux « Musings of a Home Engineer

  6. I think everyone is misunderstanding what gideon did was not testing the Lord. He was asking God is this was really him talking or was it Satan. He was talking to and listening to God. He was asking for a sign. Testing God would be throwing yourself off a cliff and saying ok God if you really love me then catch me. But asking him to confirm something really came from him, Asking for dicernment well that is just wise and is what God tells us to do.
    ~~thank you for the comment, Elaine.

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