Judges 6. Gideon, part 16: Gideon's father is saved, but Gideon is still weak in faith.

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Title: Judges 6. Gideon, part 16: Gideon's father is saved, but Gideon is still weak in faith.      




Gideon's faith to execute God's command to destroy the altar of Baal and the pole of Asherah brought God's light to this little village.


Most all the people wanted the perpetrator's blood, but the light of Jehovah got to Gideon's father.


JDG 6:28 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 [prized bull] was offered on the altar which had been built.


Baal altar at Megiddo approx. 2000 BC

JDG 6:29 And 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."


JDG 6:30 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."


JDG 6:31 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."


Are you pleading for Baal? Does he need a lawyer? Will you shield him? They are behaving as judges did for Israel, but for Baal.


Joash used the very same word that is used for judges who delivered Israel. They are acting as judges, but for Baal.


They contended or fought for Baal just as the judges that God raised up fought for the Lord and Israel. They have apportioned themselves as judges for Baal.


Baal could not defend his altar, nor could he deliver the people from Midian, which the people definitely asked of him. And yet we find the people of this village trying to deliver Baal by putting to death the one who destroyed his altar, something Baal couldn't do. Ingrained stupidity does not see the most blatant illogic.


Joash has seen the light and it has changed him.


Joash promises that if anyone tries to put his son to death, he will himself be put to death by morning. Gideon's action has won over his father.


God shined through Gideon and his father beheld it and found his faith. We never know who God is going to impact through our service of Him.


Then his father adds, if Baal is truly a god, then he needs no human defense, so let him defend himself. In other words, give it until morning and we will see if Baal avenges himself against Gideon.


Joash clearly doesn't believe in the power of Baal any longer, in fact, he doesn't believe him to be real at all. Perhaps Joash realized that Baal couldn't be real if he couldn't defend his own altar. Gideon would have told him about his encounter with the theophany of the Lord and the light of God has opened his eyes to the God of Israel that he had been rejecting for years. We never know who is going to be effected by our service to the Lord.


He defends his son to the point of promising death to anyone who harms him and then openly leaves his son's punishment to Baal, which he wouldn't do if he thought Baal was real.


Joash says in essence: "Whoever shall fight for Baal, and seek to avenge the destruction of his altar by putting the author of it to death, shall be put to death himself; let us wait till to-morrow, and give Baal time to avenge the insult which he has received. If he be god then let him fight for himself."


1KI 18:25 So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one ox for yourselves and prepare it first for you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it."


1KI 18:26 Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, "O Baal, answer us." But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made.


1KI 18:27 And it came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, "Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened."


1KI 18:28 So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them.


1KI 18:29 And it came about when midday was past, that they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.


Gideon's daring act of faith had inspired his father Joash with believing courage, so that he took the part of his son, and left the whole matter to the deity to decide.


Gideon now has a reputation and that led to a new name.


JDG 6:32 Therefore on that day he named him Jerubbaal, that is to say, "Let Baal contend against him," because he had torn down his altar.


Jerubbaal - "let Baal strive." This surname would become an honorable title for Gideon. He became the Baal fighter.


Already, in one day, simply by following the Lord in faith, the Lord has wonderfully blessed him.


God's timing is always perfect. Gideon's call comes just before the next Midianite raid. As we saw Gideon beating out grain with a stick, it is the time of the harvest and as the seven harvests before this one, the Midianites and Amalekites leave their homes in the east and cross over the Jordan. They suspect that their raiding parties will have the success that they have enjoyed for the last seven years. There are over 100,000 of them, each one a leader of a family or clan who is in search of stocking up goods for himself and his family for the winter and added to that there is the hope of falling upon some riches that Israelites were hiding. And so, food and livestock were guaranteed and there was the chance of getting rich. It is no wonder that so many of them came.


They camp in the Valley of Jezreel, a valley we know well. Orphah, the home of Gideon, was at the very eastern edge of this valley.


JDG 6:33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the sons of the east assembled themselves; and they crossed over and camped in the valley of Jezreel.



The fight will be brought to the Midianites before they begin their raids. The attack will be a complete surprise for the reason that Israel had never done such a thing before and also because a small band of 300 men would have never been detected as an opposing force. It is now or never for Gideon.


It's now or never. No time to ponder it. If the Midianites begin their raids they will be split up all over the land. The effective strike must come while they are all together.


Indecisiveness would be a sign of doubt and fear. When the call comes to us to do, we must do and trust, rather than hesitate and ponder the possible results or difficulties.


Php 2:14-16

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life


But Gideon doesn't move alone. The Holy Spirit clothes him like a suit of armor and Gideon knows and feels himself to be invincible.


JDG 6:33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the sons of the east assembled themselves; and they crossed over and camped in the valley of Jezreel.


JDG 6:34 So the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet [shofar], and the Abiezrites [eh-bye-ezrite] were called together to follow him.


"came upon" - Vbl[labash] = to clothe. The HS descended upon him and laid Himself around Gideon as if He were a coat of mail or armor, so that Gideon became invincible.