And he said to him, If now I have found grace in your sight, then show me a sign that you talk with me.
The stranger said, Have not I sent thee? I will be with thee. Gideon wanted a proof that he was one who had authority, etc., to use such words. That he was a supernatural visitor he suspected; he wanted to be sure. But it was rather to ascertain the reality of his own heavenly calling, which at first he could hardly believe. There was no other evidence open to him; and he asked the evidence peculiar to his epoch. He was altogether different therefore from the Jews of Christ's time, who required a sign, but no sign would be given them, save the sign of the prophet Jonas. They had signs enough already, but had no spiritual perception.
I. THIS REQUEST AROSE NOT FROM WANT OF FAITH, BUT FROM SELF-DISTRUST. Might not this all be a dream? And who was he himself? It is the doubt of a mind suspicious of its own sanity, etc. All this argues a deep humility than which nothing could fit him better for the work he has to do. God forgives a desire like this, and answers it; but doubts as to himself and his character, etc., are of another sort.
II. GOD ENCOURAGES ALL TRUE SERVANTS BY SOME TOKEN OF HIS PRESENCE AND HELP. Moses at Horeb; Paul in the temple in his trance - "Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles" (Acts 22:21). Many holy men have had such inward urgings and impulses. And all earnest service is accompanied by tokens of the Divine blessing. We are encouraged, therefore, to look for these signs. Their absence ought to cause no concern. Their nature will depend upon the kind of work we are doing. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.