Guidance Part 1: How not to find a wife, and other stories (Judges 6; 1 Sam 14)

  • How NOT to find a wife (George Whitefield),
  • ‘Fleeces’ the good, the bad & the ugly,
  • and three things we can mean by ‘God’s will’.

Play Audio:


To introduce the topic of guidance with some common pitfalls.

Guidance Part 1: How NOT to find a wife, and other stories

  1. How not to find a wife, by George Whitefield
  2. “Fleeces” the good, the bad & the ugly
  3. Three things we can mean by “God’s will”

1. How not to find a wife, by George Whitefield

How not to Find a Wife

—By George Whitefield

“Whitefield preaching at Moorlands”

Whitefield preaching at Moorlands

Image source: “”

How not to find God’s will?

—by Gideon

Judges 6:14–40

  1. Then the LORD himself turned to him and said, “You have the strength. Deliver Israel from the power of the Midianites! Have I not sent you?”
  2. Gideon said to him, “But LORD, how can I deliver Israel? Just look! My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my family.”
  3. The LORD said to him, “Ah, but I will be with you! You will strike down the whole Midianite army.”
  4. Gideon said to him, “If you really are pleased with me, then give me a sign as proof that it is really you speaking with me.
  5. Do not leave this place until I come back with a gift and present it to you.” The LORD said, “I will stay here until you come back.”
  6. Gideon went and prepared a young goat, along with unleavened bread made from an ephah of flour. He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot. He brought the food to him under the oak tree and presented it to him.
  7. God’s messenger said to him, “Put the meat and unleavened bread on this rock, and pour out the broth.” Gideon did as instructed.
  8. The LORD’s messenger touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of his staff. Fire flared up from the rock and consumed the meat and unleavened bread. The LORD’s messenger then disappeared.
  9. Gideon said to God, “If you really intend to use me to deliver Israel, as you promised, then give me a sign as proof.
  10. Look, I am putting a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece, and the ground around it is dry, then I will be sure that you will use me to deliver Israel, as you promised.”
  11. The LORD did as he asked. When he got up the next morning, he squeezed the fleece, and enough dew dripped from it to fill a bowl.
  12. Gideon said to God, “Please do not get angry at me, when I ask for just one more sign. Please allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make only the fleece dry, while the ground around it is covered with dew.”
  13. That night God did as he asked. Only the fleece was dry and the ground around it was covered with dew.

NET Bible

“Woolen Fleece”

Woolen Fleece

Image source: “”

1 Samuel 14:6–15

  1. Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the LORD will intervene for us. Nothing can prevent the LORD from delivering, whether by many or by a few.”
  2. His armor bearer said to him, “Do everything that is on your mind. Do as you’re inclined. I’m with you all the way!”
  3. Jonathan replied, “All right! We’ll go over to these men and fight them.
  4. If they say to us, ‘Stay put until we approach you,’ we will stay right there and not go up to them.
  5. But if they say, ‘Come up against us,’ we will go up. For in that case the LORD has given them into our hand — it will be a sign to us.”
  6. When they made themselves known to the Philistine garrison, the Philistines said, “Look! The Hebrews are coming out of the holes in which they hid themselves.”
  7. Then the men of the garrison said to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come on up to us so we can teach you a thing or two!” Then Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up behind me, for the LORD has given them into the hand of Israel!”
  8. Jonathan crawled up on his hands and feet, with his armor bearer following behind him. Jonathan struck down the Philistines, while his armor bearer came along behind him and killed them.
  9. In this initial skirmish Jonathan and his armor bearer struck down about twenty men in an area that measured half an acre.
  10. Then fear overwhelmed those who were in the camp, those who were in the field, all the army in the garrison, and the raiding bands. They trembled and the ground shook. This fear was caused by God.

NET Bible

2. “Fleeces” the good, the bad & the ugly

Fleeces, the good, the bad & the ugly

  • The Good
    • when it is not actually a “fleece” at all
  • The Bad
    • a game between you and God
  • The Ugly
    • justifying what we want to do anyway

3. Three things we can mean by “God’s will”

God’s will

  1. God’s Moral Will
  2. God’s Sovereign Will
  3. Relating the two

1. God’s Moral Will

  • How God would like us all to live
    • Love God with all your heart
    • Love one another as yourself
  • The expression of God’s own character
  • Fully revealed in Jesus Christ
  • Sometimes called his “perfect will”

God’s Moral Will-Freedom

  • There is freedom within it
  • “Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
  • Not just freedom within it, but God does not compel us to give, but wants us to chose freely.

2. God’s Sovereign Will:

  1. …He does what he wants with the army of heaven
          and the inhabitants of the earth.
    There is no one who can block his hand
          or say to him, “What have you done? (Daniel 4:35 CSB)
  2. The hidden things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our descendants forever, so that we may obey all the words of this law. (Deut 29:29)

3. Relating the Two

  • How come there is sin if God is sovereign?
  • Adam & Eve were allowed to sin
  • Judas was allowed to betray Jesus
  • But God delights in turning evil to good
  • But this does not mean we should “sin that grace may abound”

Next Time:
Four models for guidance

  1. God will reveal exact guidance in every situation and if you miss it you are in trouble
  2. God has never promised guidance, only wisdom
    • You have freedom to do anything as long as it is not immoral.
  3. Most of the time it’s 2. unless it’s 1. (modified wisdom)
  4. Having the mind of Christ (walking in the Spirit)