Bible College
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
Way of Life Bible College
Should We Use Fleeces Today?
Republished November 5, 2008 (first published April 18, 2005)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
“And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, AS THOU HAST SAID, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.” Judges 6:36-40

God had commanded Gideon to save Israel from the hand of the Midianites” (Jud. 6:14). When Gideon doubted this divine call, he asked God for two signs of confirmation. In the first, Gideon asked God to make a dry fleece of wool damp while the earth around it stayed dry. In the second, Gideon asked for the fleece of wool to remain dry while the earth around it became wet.

While God graciously answered Gideon’s “fleeces,” there are reasons to believe it is dangerous to follow this pattern today in determining God’s will:

1. This is the only place in the Bible that we read about “throwing out a fleece” to test God’s will, and it is in the book of Judges in the midst of apostasy and spiritual weakness and confusion. Many strange things are recorded in Judges, but that does not mean that we should follow all of them. Consider, for example, the foolish vow of Jephthah (Jud. 11:30-31).

2. God had already spoken plainly to Gideon (Jud. 6:14), and he should have proceeded by faith. It is God’s will that we live by faith in His Word and not by signs.

“But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas” (Mat. 12:39).

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (Jn. 20:29).

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.... But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:1, 6).

3. God has not promised to answer “fleeces,” and the devil can imitate them.

God answered Gideon’s fleece, but the Bible nowhere promises that God will answer other people’s fleeces.

Before I was saved I threw out some fleeces, but the answer was confusing, at best. For example, in the late summer of 1973 I was riding in my automobile with the Christian man who led me to Christ a couple of days later. I had studied Christian Science, Hinduism, and other religions, and I did not know what to believe, the Bible or something else. So as I was driving along in my automobile I prayed, “God, I am confused; I seek your help. If the Bible is true, let there be a bird on the second telephone pole after we go around the next curve in the road, and if the Bible is not true let there not be a bird.” Well, there was no bird, but that did not prove that the Bible is false!

Consider the case of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He was a Roman Catholic priest who rejected creation, the fall, the God of the Bible, and the Jesus of the Bible. He developed a theory of evolution whereby mankind is evolving toward perfection in a cosmic “christ.” But a few days before his death in 1955 he prayed, “If in my life I haven’t been wrong, I beg God to allow me to die on Eastern Sunday” (“Pierre Teilhard,”
Wikipedia). Sure enough, he died on April 10, which was Easter Sunday. What does that prove? Nothing whatsoever!

Fleeces are not sure, but the Word of God is sure (2 Pet. 1:19-21; John 20:29-31).

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:29-31).

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

copyright 2013, Way of Life Literature

- Receive these reports by email
- "About" David Cloud


Sharing Policy: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our expensive literature and foreign church planting ministries. Way of Life's content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, O Timothy magazine, FBIS articles, and the free eVideos and free eBooks. You are welcome to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family, but they cannot be posted to web sites. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles in your writings, in sermons, in church bulletins, etc. All we ask is that you give proper credit. Things we do not want copied and distributed freely are items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print editions of our books, electronic editions of the books that we sell, the videos that we sell, etc. The items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we use the income from sales to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy. "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward" (1 Timothy 5:18).

Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.

Offering: We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications. We seek offerings only from those who are helped. OFFERINGS can be mailed or made online with with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Paypal. For information see: