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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:
In Judges we read the story of Gideon. God used Gideon to defeat the Midianites who were oppressing Israel. But the part of the story I would especially like to focus on today is his famous "fleece test".
In this story of Gideon and his fleece, we find a powerful principle for how to consistently discern the Will of God.
God has given an effective way to confirm whether a plan, idea, or teaching is from Him. When we use it properly—as the Bible instructs—God will protect us from falling prey to satanic deception 100% of the time! I call this spiritual safeguard the Power of Two Witnesses. This is the principle that God’s Word and Truth are always established (confirmed) by the testimony of at least two (or three) witnesses.
"...In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established", Matthew 18:16.
"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin... At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established", Deuteronomy 19:15.
This principle means that when we believe we’ve received a message from the Lord, we may be totally certain by prayerfully seeking the verification of 2–3 witnesses.
Consider these two, Scriptural examples:
GIDEON—The first example is the one I've already mentioned: the example of Gideon and his fleece test. Gideon understood the principle that God will confirm His Will in the mouth of two or three witnesses. So, when an angel which claimed to be from Heaven—told him that it was God’s Will for this farmer to lay aside all he knew and take up military command, leading Israel to victory against the Midianites, Gideon sought confirmation that this call was indeed from God.
He laid out a fleece twice (two witnesses), praying once that the fleece would be dry from the overnight dew—while the surrounding ground was wet—and once that the fleece would be wet from the overnight dew—while the surrounding ground was dry. Gideon invoked the Power of Two Witnesses because he understood this was God’s Way of establishing anything. And because it is God’s Way to verify a matter, He honored Gideon’s fleece test, confirming His Call by two witnesses (Judges 6:36–40).
JOSEPH—Joseph is a second example demonstrating how
God establishes His Word in the mouth of two or three witnesses. In the time of Joseph, 430 years before Israel’s Exodus story, Pharaoh was given two dreams. In one he was shown seven fat and healthy cows who were completely devoured by seven thin and emaciated cows. In the other, Pharaoh was shown seven plump and healthy ears of corn which were completely devoured by seven blasted and sickly ears of corn. Joseph explained the meaning of the dreams to Pharaoh. He told the king of Egypt that both dreams had the same meaning. They were prophetic, foretelling seven years of plenty, which would be followed by seven years of terrible famine. Joseph also explained why God gave Pharaoh two dreams with the same message. God gave Pharaoh the Power of Two Witnesses, confirming to him that indeed this was a prophetic warning sent from Heaven:
And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass, Genesis 41:32.But the confirmation of two witnesses isn't just something Bible characters used to confirm God's Will in the distant past. Christians today, will also be safeguarded by confirming God's Will in the mouth of two or three witnesses (in matters not plainly spelled out in Scripture). How may this witness safeguard be used? There are a number of ways. But, for today let's just focus on one - conviently found in marriage.
In a Christian marriage, the Power of Two Witnesses may be easily used. When one spouse believes that he or she has a calling or message from God, it should be confirmed by praying that God will show the other spouse the same message. Having said marital vows, a couple covenants to walk through the rest of their lives together. The next step Heaven would ordain the couple to take is confirmed when both spouses pray and come to an agreement about it.
"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3
My failure to use this powerful safeguard was a big factor in paving the way for the destructive story you may read in pages of my book Escaping from the Dragon's Jaws. Recognizing this, my husband and I now have the policy that anytime one of us is ready to make a decision on something, believing it to be God’s Leading in our lives; we pray and seek the confirmation of the other spouse. Only when we are both convicted on a matter do we proceed. God has always honored this method of confirmation, for He established it and gave it in His Word.
Some may wonder why a husband needs to seek the
confirmation of prayerful agreement with his wife. Since the husband is the “head” and is spiritually the higher authority of the home, can he not be blessed in making a decision even when it without his wife’s agreement? As my husband likes to say, “the husband is the head of the house, but the wife is the neck - and the neck turns the head.”
So often, when folks work to get their lives and homes operating under godly authority, they misunderstand the husband’s and wife’s roles. A “submitted” wife is often wrongly viewed as the proverbial “bare-foot and pregnant” woman, whose authority is only slightly greater than the children. But God created the woman from the rib bone of the man. She is at his side, not under his feet or over his head.
- The quintessential godly wife is described in Proverbs 31:10-31. The woman described in this passage is what every Christian wife should aspire to become. But is she weak, dominated, and nearly brainless? Not at all! If a man is the king of his house, she is his queen. She is wise, trusted by her husband, astute in business, and is a powerful force for righteousness in her home and in society. Her husband relies upon her as a life-partner. The two of them together are a powerful team. Together, they are safeguarded by prayerfully choosing to always come to every major decision as a unified team. This practice will bless the home through the Power of Two Witnesses, as God intended.
Two keys to effectively using the Power of Two Witnesses are:
1) Remember that God will not speak counter to His Word. If Scripture gives an answer regarding a belief or decision to be made, one needs only to pray and seek Two Witnesses if the subject is not already clearly laid out in His written Word. The Bible is the ultimate expression of God’s Will. So, a couple should not be praying about whether to follow something clearly given in the Word. And any impression or message which goes against the Bible will never be from God.
2) The principle of Two Witnesses should be used when studying the Bible as well. Always look for 2-3 Scriptures, minimum, to confirm any doctrinal interpretation. Scripture must always interpret Scripture.