I'm so glad you are here! I hope during your visit you get a glimpse of God's heart for we become what we are gazing at. I pray that God refreshes you and gives you readiness to persevere in what He has for you today. My desire is to be a blessing to you in helping you know God more and make Him known so I've made these Resources available to you and have the Missional Living blog tab for practical ideas of how to live on mission right where you are. If you are blogger come link up on Friday's for Brag on God Friday.
And swing by my soapbox to read about stewarding Tim Tebow and the opportunity to capitalize on his platform to further God's kingdom.
"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 men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. In the morning when the men 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 men 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."
Gideon's father was the one who built the altar to Baal. And the false god Baal was horrific. Here's an excerpt from my Bible study, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional.
"Baal was the Canaanite god of fertility and was associated with lightning and thunder. They thought that he was in charge of providing what they needed for their crops. The rain is what would give them fertile ground which would give them wealth. Baal is who they thought would do this for them if they did enough to please him.
The people thought Baal would go back to the underworld which made the land loose its fertility. In the spring time (they hoped) Baal would come back to life. They thought the offering of blood was what brought him back to life. So they would offer their own babies as sacrifices on the hot burning coals of the altar. If Baal came back to life and had sexual relationship with Asherah (the female half of Baal), then fertility of the land would be produced. Therefore they did horrible sexual acts on the high place in front of other worshippers to seduce or arouse Baal to have sex with Asherah. After this happened on the altar, all the members of the adult community would go off to the side and practice intercourse with prostitutes. This whole community perverted two of the most beautiful gifts of God. The gift of a baby and the normal sexual relationship of a man and women in the confines of marriage. Their relationship to Baal was not one of love or grace but one of appeasement and fear.
 Focus on the Family, Faith Lessons on the Prophets and Kings of Israel. Ray VanderLaan
What a shameful lineage. A father who set up the altar where people would sacrifice their babies. Yet, in the face of shame we see how Jesus redeems by using Gideon, fearful, doubtful Gideon to be a display of His glory. What a Redeeming God we serve.
And God not only shows His heart and character through unlikely Gideon but also through shameful and unlikely Joash, Gideon's father. The people discover Gideon was the one who tore down the altar, a direct offense to his father, the builder of the altar. And the people demand that Gideon is killed for his offense. But get this, Joash replies to the hostile crowd in defense of his son! How beautiful. He is not fearful like Gideon who was so scared to obey God that he took servants in the middle of the night so he wouldn't be seen (which poses the question, are you trying to obey God in secret? Perhaps like sharing your faith. Are you keeping silent for fear of what others would think?) But he is courageous in speaking up for his son.
It reminds me of, "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:11 If even evil Joash knows how to love his son to his own hurt, how much more does our Father in heaven.
Through Joash we see a glimpse of glory as God as our courageous defender.
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1/10/2012 06:00:20 am
So true -- we can live courageously for God because He is such an amazing defender!
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