Thursday, August 27, 2020

The One True God

Thursday, August 27, 2020
Now on the same 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 which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down." Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father's household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night. Judges 6:25-27

The One True God
Israel had turned to Baal worship, and Gideon’s family was the keeper of the idol to Baal.  Gideon had to know that this command from God was going to cause big trouble both for him and his family.  Yet, after he was convinced this was from the True and Living God, he obeyed.

When the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was torn down, and the Asherah which was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar which had been built. They said to one another, "Who did this thing?" And when they searched about and inquired, they said, "Gideon the son of Joash did this thing." Judges 6:28-29

Evidently it was common knowledge concerning who had vandalized the idol even though he had done it in the cover of darkness.  Gideon was not timid when confronted with responsibility.  These men who came had derived great pleasure from their sensuous worship and were angry that he had tampered with it.  So angry that they called for his death.

They said to one another, "Who did this thing?" And when they searched about and inquired, they said, "Gideon the son of Joash did this thing." Then the men of the city said to Joash, "Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it." Judges 6:29-30

But something very strange happened.  Instead of giving his son to the angry mob, his father voiced some his own doubts in a way that gave God a chance to regain His people.  He dared Baal to raise himself up if he was God.

But Joash said to all who stood against him, "Will you contend for Baal, or will you deliver him? Whoever will plead for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because someone has torn down his altar." Therefore on that day he named him Jerubbaal, that is to say, "Let Baal contend against him," because he had torn down his altar. Judges 6:31-32

The true powerlessness of the idol was revealed because one young man took a stand for God.  His faith was enough to get ten servants to follow and his father to reflect enough to stand with him.

This should remind us of the power of one faithful person to influence the hearts of many. All through scripture, God picked one man when He had a task to perform, and usually it was the one you least expected, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jonah, Nehemiah and on it goes down to Gideon. God uses those who will reach the most people and bring the greatest glory to His name. You never know who you are influencing around you in your day to day life. When others see God’s power and glory revealed in miraculous ways, by the least expected of people, they know it is God performing a miracle and not man making it happen.

After standing up for Jehovah, Gideon is faced with massive armies gathering to raid once more. Now he is empowered by the Spirit to sound the call and 32,000 men gather to fight! Like Gideon, when we tear down the idols in our lives, we make room for the one True God to come in and do His work.

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