Having preached through Judges, I am fairly confident almost none of the book is intended to be prescriptive. It is a story of a faithless and doubting and wicked people who are none the less repeatedly delivered by the hand of God. Note the indictment in Gideon’s own words “And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said..” God told Gideon what he would do, and yet his word was not sufficient for Gideon to believe. How many today have followed this sad example? And yet the purpose of God is never thwarted.Yes, I have. Thanks in large part to the book DECISION MAKING AND THE WILL OF GOD that wreaked havoc on the campus of the small bible college I attended in the early 80's.
My conclusion: Gideon is not normative and therefore not an example for us to follow in determining God's will in any matter. God has given us His word and by knowing it we know His will for all things.