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Judges 6. Gideon, part 15: Idols and false gods will suffer indignity and we must not look back them.

JUDGES-6-170314
length: 67:12 - taught on Mar, 14 2017
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Title: Judges 6. Gideon, part 15: Idols and false gods will suffer indignity and we must not look back them.        

 

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JDG 6:25 Now the same night it came about that 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;

 

"Take your father's prime bull of seven years old and pull down the altar." God used in His service what the idolatrous father prized.

 

JDG 6:26 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."

 

JDG 6:27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had spoken to him; and it came about, because he was too afraid of his father's household and the men of the city to do it by day, that he did it by night.

 

If God was going to use Gideon to deliver Israel, he must first remove from his own house the very element that brought on the divine judgment to begin with, which was idolatry. We must first give ourselves to the Lord and then we are prepared to give ourselves in the service of others. Carnality cannot coexist with divine fruit.

 

Change must occur within us first through our own faith in the plain teachings of the word of God and then we will be fit to serve God and others in our own ministries.

 

Israel couldn't have the crown of the Messiah without first accepting the cross of the Messiah. They will accept that principle at His second coming for they will look upon the One whom they have pierced and they shall weep.

 

We must be sanctified before we can be with Him in victory and rulership.

 

LUK 9:61 And another also said, "I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home."

 

LUK 9:62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

 

In life we are called to reign as kings through Christ by means of the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. If we choose a carnal life and so choose not to live sanctified unto the Lord then we will not produce fruit and we will be unable to serve anyone. Gideon can do no work for Israel while those altars exist on his land.

 

Living sanctified does not mean sinless and it certainly is not a justification for judging others, even when you are sure you are right. Each believer must work out his own salvation.

 

No one is fit for His work in the world till he has begun it in himself and in his own house, and put away all love and honor of sin and rebellion, however hard the task.

 

Putting away sin is not sinlessness. No believer ever becomes perfect before he goes to heaven. It is putting away all thirst for it, honor of it, love of it, as well as the drive to self-justify it and condone it.

 

JDG 6:25 Now the same night it came about that the Lord said to him, "Take your father's (prime) bull and a second bull (of) seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it;

 

Seven year old bull is used to signify the seven years that Midian oppressed Israel.

 

JDG 6:26 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."

 

"In an orderly manner," maarakah = the proper construction for an altar to Jehovah (uncut stones arranged in the proper way).

 

JDG 6:27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had spoken to him; and it came about, because he was too afraid of his father's household and the men of the city to do it by day, that he did it by night.

 

His is still not the mighty man of valor predicted of him by Jehovah, but that is coming.

 

All together there were four indignities against Baal.

 

His altar was to be thrown down.

An altar to the true God was built over it.

A bull, sacred to Baal worship, was offered.

Asherah pole was used as firewood.

 

The bull was a main symbol in Baal worship as it was in many other pagan theologies. It represented strength and fertility and here God uses the bull, as He had given in the law, as a representation of Jesus Christ. By offering the bull on God's altar Baal is being called an impostor.  

 

God will deal in judgment with all who wish to usurp Him. He will also expose their true identity as weak imposters.

 

Fire represents judgment and in the sacrifice it represents the judgment of Christ for the sins of the world. Asherah was used as the firewood and she represented perhaps the most reprehensible sin, rejecting Jehovah's person and providence in favor of a false god. The altar and the pole represent open and brazen rejection of God from the people whom God gave everything to.

 

God's altar was not built in a secret hiding place, but prominently on top of the old disgusting altar where all were familiar and could plainly observe. The following morning we might imagine that some go by the hill and notice nothing different, but then soon someone would. An altar, unlike any they had seen was in the place of the familiar and formerly sacred. Word would quickly spread.

 

God's altar sat prominently on the hill. Does anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket?

 

MAT 5:10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

MAT 5:11 "Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.

 

MAT 5:12 "Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

MAT 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

 

MAT 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

 

MAT 5:15 "Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.

 

MAT 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

 

This rules out separatism or monasticism as a legitimate way in Christianity.

 

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.

 

The large bull would not have been fully consumed. Its smoldering carcass lied on top of the new altar and the pieces of the old altar were on the ground.

 

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."

 

Gideon had taken ten of his servants to assist him the night before and a secret amongst ten men does not stay a secret for very long.

 

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."

 

This shows how deeply the idolatry of the Jews had sunk in. Jews wanted to murder another Jew for destroying an altar to a pagan god of the Gentiles. Jehovah's altar stood before them and they wanted to execute the man who built it there - there upon the land that Jehovah had given to them. How many sacrifices had they offered there while the Midianites continued to take all of their goods and kill them and their children? What did Baal do for them? We shake our heads, but it is truly a frightening thing to know how ingrained stupidity can become in a person's soul.

 

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."

 

"Will you contend … will you deliver?" Joash emphasizes "you". Baal depends on "you!"

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