Read: Judges 6:25-32
The people in Gideon’s hometown Ophrah had adopted the worship and sacrifice of the god and goddess of the Canaanites; Baal and Asherah. Not only was this a direct violation of God’s commandment to ‘not have any other gods before him,’ but the acts of worship were detestable, involving crude sexual acts.
So God gives Gideon a directive. God tells Gideon to tear down the altars of Baal and cut down the Asherah pole located in his father’s yard. That’s right, these altars belonged to his father, Joash! Sometimes we don’t have to look that far to find God’s mission for us; we have a sphere of influence and many times this begins in our own homes.
Gideon goes to work following the directions that God had shared with him, but he was afraid of his father’s household and the townspeople, so he did it at night when everyone was sleeping. In the morning, the whole town was upset and wanted to kill Gideon for what he had done, but Gideon’s father Joash defended his son. It’s somewhat unclear if Joash’s heart had changed, or he was just appeasing the crowd. Either way, the act to tear down the pagan altars and build a new one to only God seemed to create lasting change, and Gideon would not only lead this clan of Abiezer to fight a new threat, his leadership reaches throughout Israel.
Sometimes, God asks us to step up and take on the status quo. What has God placed on your heart? God needs leaders to point our families, neighbors, coworkers, townspeople toward his son Jesus. Are we allowing the ideas and beliefs of the world around us to dictate what is acceptable or not? Like Gideon, are we asked to take a first step to rebuilding God’s kingdom here on earth? And like Gideon, will we accomplish the first step to prepare us for bigger things in the future? Tomorrow, we learn how Gideon makes his calling sure with a simple test – or two.