The paper "King James Version" is a delightful example of an essay on psychology. While not technically an experiment of science, Gideon’ s Fleece was an experiment of spirituality. Gideon wanted to make sure that God was speaking the truth and “ If thou wilt saves Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said” (NKJ, Judges 6:26). So as an experiment of God’ s power and sovereignty Gideon asked for a test. If the fleece of wool had dew on it in the morning, Gideon knew God was dealing honestly with. When Gideon awoke the next morning “ he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water” (NKJ, Judges 6:38).
Obviously, God had spoken the truth. However, no experiment is done only once. What if the wool soaked up the dew from the surrounding ground? What if the surrounding ground dried faster than the heavy wool? All of these questions probably plagued Gideon. So Gideon asked 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.
(NKJ, Judges 6:39)So the next morning Gideon went out and the wool was dry with the surrounding ground being wet. This was more of a proof of God’ s Word than the first experiment. If the surrounding ground was wet, it was unnatural that the wool was dry. Thus Gideon could be assured of God’ s Word. This request was not like an experiment in several ways.
The first time the experiment was tried and the second time was not under the exact same conditions. Outdoors it is hard to reproduce similar conditions. Secondly, Gideon wanted God’ s Word to be true so he might have messed up the results with a bad interpretation of the data. Finally, this was not a science experiment with controls or placeboes. It was God’ s Word. Faith is called faith because one believes without proof.