Quiet my heart, O God, as I seek You now.
Read Judges 6:25–40
25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old.[a] Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole[b] beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of[c] 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[d] bull as a burnt offering.”
27 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.
28 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!
29 They asked each other, “Who did this?”
When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”
30 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.”
31 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.” 32 So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal[e] that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”
33 Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.
36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
- Judges 6:25 Or Take a full-grown, mature bull from your father’s herd
- Judges 6:25 That is, a wooden symbol of the goddess Asherah; also in verses 26, 28 and 30
- Judges 6:26 Or build with layers of stone an
- Judges 6:26 Or full-grown; also in verse 28
- Judges 6:32 Jerub-Baal probably means let Baal contend.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat concerns are competing with God for your attention?
The toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad in 2003 was a dramatic symbol of the end of the dictator’s rule. Similarly, Gideon’s destruction of the local Baal altar, and building of an altar to the Lord (25–27), symbolizes an end to idolatry and a return to exclusive worship of Israel’s covenant God. Whatever God is going to do through Gideon to deliver His people, there is to be no question that it is God, not Baal, who is acting to save. Serving two masters makes it difficult to give credit where it’s due, and so always risks dishonoring God – better to serve Him alone (Matthew 6:24)!
Although the Baal altar belonged to him (25), Gideon’s father is quick to abandon his idolatry, having interpreted the night’s events as exposing Baal to be a false god powerless to defend himself (31). This is further emphasized by Gideon’s ‘fleece games’ with God (36–40). Encouragingly for us, the narrator has no interest in judging Gideon’s repeated requests for reassurance. Rather, the tests serve to prove that God, unlike Baal, has real power – even over the forces of nature – and is therefore alone worthy of worship.
Look at the concerns you noted earlier. What you spend your time and money on often shows where your priorities lie. Where are your priorities? How can you work to keep God first?
Jesus, I often let other things crowd You out. Give me strength to keep You first.