Gideon’s First Assignment

More About Gideon

Have you ever been asked to do something by someone in authority over you that you were sure would get you in trouble with the people in your life? How did you handle it?

Last time, we talked about Gideon and a visit he received from an angel of the LORD. We are going to continue talking about Gideon, today, as we go farther into Judges 6.

Judges 6:25-27 ESV

That night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.

Answers to Yesterday’s Questions

In the entry from yesterday, we touched on Gideon asking the angel of the LORD why the bad things were happening to the nation of Israel if the LORD was with them. Looking back at Verse 12 the angel said: “The LORD is with you…” Let’s think about the first of the Ten Commandments, “You shall have no other gods before Me,” and put it together with Verse 25. We can see fairly quickly why these bad things were happening to Israel.

Judges 6:25 ESV

That night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it…

Israel had clear instructions about removing the places of idol worship in Deuteronomy 12:3. They were never supposed to be the idol worshipers but in this case, that is exactly what they were. The Israelites were actively practicing idolatry. They were worshiping Baal and Asherah and actually, these places of idol worship belonged to Gideon’s father, Joash. That is quite interesting, huh?

The New Plan

Seems like God is saying “Enough! No more of this idolatry!”

He was also executing a plan to deliver them from the horrible oppression of the Midianites. He had chosen Gideon to be His “mighty man of valor” for the task.

Pull Down and Build

So, Gideon was to pull down the altars for idol worship and build:

Judges 6:26

“…and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.”

A Bit About Worship

Gideon was to build an altar to the LORD his God according to instructions from the book of Exodus – “with stones laid in due order”. This means that the altar must not be built of hewn stones because a stone that a tool had been wielded on was profaned. It would be a place where the people would come and worship God.

God takes our worship of Himself very seriously. He did then and He does now.

Sometimes, I fail to take it seriously enough. Sometimes my mind is just somewhere else. That is insulting to my amazing God – I/we should realize that He is really actually with us waiting for us to turn our hearts to Him.

His Place of Worship

When I go to His house, He should be the primary focus of my attention. Sometimes I have other things to do that pertain to some church responsibility or other and I am distracted by it.

This is an inadequate illustration so bear with me:

Say you go to visit someone who loves you very, very dearly – maybe your grandmother. She has been such a wonderful grandmother to you and you are very appreciative and you love her very much. However, your cell phone rings as soon as you get into her house. You only had an hour to visit and you stay on your cell phone the entire hour. As you leave, you are frustrated and maybe feeling a little guilty. You leave her feeling brokenhearted, unloved, and forgotten.

Of course, we can worship alone in our daily lives, too. But, I want to go into my wonderful God’s house with my focus on Him. The other things must wait. The business of our church work cannot – must not – supersede our wonderful awesome loving God for our attention and worship. This is very poignant to me now as I have taken on a big responsibility at my church in this new year. I need to guard against this tendency because I have failed in this area in the past. How about you? Do you have challenges in this area?

Judges 6:27

So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night.

Knowing His Voice

Well now, it is pretty clear that Gideon knows this voice now, isn’t it? No arguing or dawdling took place. God told him to do it and he went and did what God had said for him to do. He did it at night, which at least one commentator describes as prudent, to avoid resistance.

Things to Ponder:

  • Idolatry – Are there things in your life that challenge the love you have for God? Do you hunger for that promotion at work? the new car that came out this year? to have the perfectly shaped body?
  • Do you need to pull down the strong-hold that thing has on your life?
  • Are you able to focus on God when you go to worship together with your brothers and sisters in Christ in your church? or are you distracted by other things?

Go Deeper Today:

Matthew 5:38-48

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.