JUDGES 6:11-14 and 25-30
Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.
The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
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.”
– Judges 6:11-14; 25-30
Israel’s enemies were continually ravaging the land and destroying the Israelite’s livelihood. Gideon was taking no chances so he was trying to improvise and work out of sight of the enemy. Imagine his chagrin when the angel of the Lord appeared and said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
Gideon’s protest gives us some insight into his thought process as he seems to immediately blame God for Israel’s calamity instead of first considering the possibility that he and his fellow Israelites were under God’s judgment for their sinfulness.
The Lord commissioned Gideon to be His instrument to deliver Israel. Gideon’s wavering faith made him feel completely inadequate for the job God had given him to do.
However, the Lord encouraged Gideon and confirmed his call through a miracle and a faith building personal experience with the Lord. Gideon’s first assignment was to get rid of some idolatry in his own family and local village. Even though he was afraid of his family’s reaction, he obeyed the Lord and accomplished that mission, and learned an important and hard leadership lesson as well.
Sometimes people around you misunderstand your motives, disagree with your actions, and may even actively resist or attack you. If that happens, our responsibility is to obey the Lord and serve others anyway – in spite of the risks.
The Big Question
In what situations in your life are you susceptible to blaming God or other people for your sinfulness instead of submitting yourself to the Lord’s correction and turning to Him in confession and repentance?
Conclude in prayer and silence, reflecting on what you’ve learned.