Today’s understatement: God is very patient.
An angel appears to Gideon and says that God is with him. Gideon’s response is that if the Lord is with him, then why does it appear God has forsaken Israel? Undaunted, the angel states that God has chosen Gideon to save Israel from its enemy, Midian. Gideon replies that his clan is the weakest, and he is the least in his clan. God will help you, says the angel. I need a sign, replies Gideon. So the angel gives him a sign, and Gideon realizes that he is speaking with an angel of God.
God gives Gideon a task: tear down an altar to Baal and replace it with an altar to God. Gideon does it at night to avoid being seen, but the men of the town still figure out he was the culprit. Gideon’s father deftly prevents them from killing Gideon, but the avoided skirmish mushrooms into a looming war. The Midianites and their allies amass across the Jordan River, ready for battle against the people of Israel and their fearless leader, Gideon.
Except Gideon is not so fearless. I need another sign, he tells God. I will lay a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the wool and not on the floor, then I’ll know that you have chosen me to lead Israel. He gets the sign, and so … he asks for another. This time the fleece has to be dry and the floor wet. God gives him that sign too.
And Gideon leads Israel to victory.
God is patient with all of his children. He is extraordinarily patient.