The second test of Gideon’s destiny is quickly amped up in magnitude. The Angel next tells Gideon to destroy his father’s pagan wooden image and altar dedicated to Baal. He is to burn it and build a replacement altar to the one true God in its place.
This is now the commencement of complete deliverance for the people of God, starting with Gideon and then with his own family and city. Was Gideon now certain of God’s plan, at least in this situation? Yes, he was. But was he still scared? Yes, he was. He took ten servants “but because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime” (Judges 6:27).
Hey, living for the Lord is not effortless and trouble-free. It is not void of any danger or risk. It does however bring out the very best in us, our true selves. Much is expected from us because we are capable of “much.”
Gideon obeys and finishes his task. What did he expect the outcome might be? We are not told any details, but allow me to venture a guess. After all, since this was God’s will, His plan for Gideon, then the outcome must be good, right? Everything will be fine…as a matter of fact, much better. Gideon’s family and the city folk will almost certainly applaud his courage, repent of their idolatry, hail him as the new leader of their clan, and promote him to a prestigious position in the city. Right? Uh, not quite Gideon. As a matter of fact, Gideon, think…the opposite.
When the people of the town awakened the next morning and realized the altar of Baal had been demolished, they were troubled. They did some investigative work and discovered that Gideon, son of Joash, was the offender. Did they congratulate and honor him? No, not at all. As a matter of fact, they ordered Joash, Gideon’s father, to surrender his son…so they could kill him!
Wow, thanks a lot Lord. I followed your will, trusting in You, and now I am in a far worse predicament than ever before. Is this what I get for obeying You? Have you ever felt this way? You step out on faith and try to accomplish something for God or help someone in need or follow God’s leading…and…and things seem to get worse!? Your plan gets shot down, or someone pokes fun at your idea, or opposition arises, or someone “lets you have it” with both barrels from his/her mouth, or others do not understand what you are trying to do, or someone gets hurt.