Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guts to Do What is Right

By Mary Vee
Judges 6

Gideon's Servant's Thoughts

Gideon never sat around. He wanted to force the Midianites off our land, but didn't know how. Midianite soldiers stole our food before we had a chance to harvest one grain then they stole our animals.

Every day Gideon looked for some way to find food for his family without being caught by some Midianite soldier. One summer he harvested the crop early then hid the grain bundles in his cave. At night he threshed the grain on his father’s winepress.

Last night, Gideon called ten of us servants. We followed him to the woods where he could speak without others hearing. He waved us close. “An Angel of the Lord spoke to me last night.”

We were surprised. No one had heard a message from the Lord in seven years. “What did He say, Gideon?”

Gideon pointed to his father’s altar of Baal. “The Lord told me to take my father’s young bull up there. I am to tear down the Baal altar and cut down the wooden image next to it. Next I’m to build an altar to the Lord our God on the same ground in the proper way we’ve been taught and offer the bull as a sacrifice using the wood that once was the image.”

He looked behind himself and beyond us then leaned forward. “I need your help. This must be done quickly and quietly.”

I suppose if the Lord said to smash the altar and Gideon wanted my help, I needed to obey.  “I’ll gladly help.” The other nine nodded and said, “Me too.”

Gideon wanted to wait until after everyone slept. A few men from his father’s household and some men from the village had proven, more than once, to be untrustworthy. If the Midianite soldiers caught us, we could be killed.

We crept up to the altar and took it apart piece-by-piece until not one stone stood on top of another. We moved over to the wooden Baal image and cut it down. Gideon led the building of the altar for the Lord showing us how and where to put each stone.

We finished our work by dragging that heavy bull to the altar, heaving it up and setting it on top. After Gideon offered the bull as a sacrifice we sneaked back to our sleeping areas.

I woke to loud screams. Men from the city found the smashed altar and broken Baal. “Who did this?” one man shouted? Apparently someone had seen what we did last night and told  

They yanked Gideon’s father to the altar. “Bring us your son that he may die because he torn down the altar of Baal and torn down the wooden image of Baal.”

Gideon’s father’s eyes closed for a moment. He opened them and squared his shoulders back, which made him seem taller. “You men are crazy. Would you defend this useless hunk of wood once carved and called a god?  Let the first one of you to say yes be put to death by morning.  If this thing is a god, let it plead for itself.”

That day I felt proud to be a servant in Gideon’s household.

Why did the Gideon gather ten servants together?
Why did he keep this a secret?
What did they do?
Who told Gideon to do this? and why?
Who became angry at Gideon’s work and why?
What did Gideon’s father say?
Why did he defend Gideon?
What did you learn from this story?

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