I attend a Ladies Bible Study on Wednesday mornings.  It is pretty large.  I think we have more than 70 women for this study and that is down from the 120 that participated in the Fall Semester.  We are studying Gideon, using a video series by Priscilla Shirer.  It is amazing to me how little I know about Gideon and what can be learned from three short chapters in the Bible.

 When we arrive, we have a time of singing and then split up into small groups to discuss our homework.  It is here that it gets personal and we share lessons learned from this study.  Last week's homework was good and I got a lot out of it.
I would like to talk about this particular section from Judges 6....

That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.  Then build a proper kind of 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 bull as a burnt offering.
 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.
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!
They asked each other, “Who did this?”
When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”
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.”
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.”  So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”

We discussed what it must have felt like for Gideon to tear down the idols that his father and family friends had built.  These were not small.  Baal worship was huge in Gideon's family and community.  In fact, Gideon's father was responsible for monitoring this worship.  He likely oversaw or built the very alter that Gideon tore down.  However, God didn't send Gideon one town over or to another country to do this work. He instead was instructed to work at home.  Tearing down the idols.

This weekend an event happened in our home which pointed out some "idols" one in our family is holding onto.  Now, I am very sure that if I was to peer into my own life I would find that I am not immune to this either.  However, for this family member things came to a crisis.  My husband and I dealt with it, imperfectly, but we confronted the issue.  I was so broken for the outcome of our discussion.

Soon after we had our talk we headed out to breakfast.  The family member we had spoken with was not with us.  All of a sudden this passage and our discussion about it came to me!  We were tearing down idols...and we were beginning at home!!  We experienced the wrath of a family member who didn't like his "gods" attacked.  What an encouragement because I knew that if God had called us to that moment, He would get us through.

It was a rough 24 plus hours but I am so happy to report that all is restored in our household.  We have reconciled with this family member who we so offended.  It is never easy or never fun to deal with those things which bring our sin to the forefront and deal with it.  But the peace and joy on the other side is beautiful.  I watched the change in this son and I even commented last evening on how handsome he looked.  His entire face had moved from anger and hurt to a peaceful calm.  I would ask you to continue praying for him.  This stronghold in his life is deep.  But, God is able and He is definitely at work in this young man's life.

I don't really want the job of tearing down idols...but I do know that when God calls us to do it, He will carry us through.  I especially don't want to encourage people to go hunting for other people's idols.  Ha.  But if we start in our own hearts and root out those things that are more important to us than our walk with our Savior it will bring about change and joy.  That in itself, will likely result in those around us seeking the source of our peace and joy.  They in return will have an opportunity to hear your experience and may tear down idols in their own lives.  I'm challenging myself to it today.  So if you hear sounds of breaking rock and crashing alters...it might just be me....cleaning house.

Becky - Good Neighbors Candle

Comments (2)

On February 17, 2014 at 2:29 PM , bananaorangeapple said...

Wow, a powerful message thanks Becky

On February 18, 2014 at 11:41 PM , Laurie Sikorowski said...

Very well said! Idols are sneaky things; sometimes they can even start out as such good things then all of a sudden God points out how we have let something nudge into where he should be dwelling.