Judges 6:25-32 NIV “That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”
So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.
In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!
They asked each other, “Who did this?”
When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”
The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”
But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”
The Israelites had given themselves over to the worship of an ancient false god Baal. Gideon’s father had built an altar to Baal, as had many others. When the Lord told Gideon to tear down the altar, he wasn’t making a general statement about idol worship, but against his own family.
His faith strengthened by all that he’d seen and done that night, Gideon replaced the altar with “a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God” and used the wood of the destroyed altar to make a burnt offering as he had been told.
Sometimes hearing from God confirms a direction you’re already heading in; sometimes it means making minor adjustments. Sometimes it means making radical changes in your life. Whatever it is, God will be there with you.
When the people discovered what Gideon had done, they demanded that he die.
We don’t know much about Joash. Perhaps Gideon had shared with him how God had appeared to him. Perhaps when Joash saw the altar Gideon had built, he was moved by his son’s expression of faith in the true God of Israel. Perhaps Joash was a wise man that loved his son.
Whatever the case, God used Joash to save Gideon and deliver on His promise that He would be with him. Joash told the angry crowd that if Baal was so powerful, he could smite Gideon himself. The people gave Gideon a nickname: Jerub-Baal “Let Baal fight his own battles” (Judges 6:32 MSG).
It’s one thing to quietly ask God questions and test His presence in your life. It’s quite another thing to make big changes and step out in faith.
Whatever it is, know that God is with us when we go.
“He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28
“Lord Jesus, show me the way. Show me the way to obey you and follow you. I want to rely on you for the little things as much as the big things, because I know that you love me and have a plan for my life. I surrender to you Lord, in Jesus’ name.”