Gideon: Slaying our false worship


This is the second in a series of articles retelling the events of Gideon in the Old Testament book of Judges. This second article is based on Judges 6:25-40. You can read the whole series here.


My head span with questions. How was I going to defeat the Midianites? The answer came in the night.

“First,” God’s voice cut through the darkness, “destroy your altars to the fertility gods, Asherah and Baal. Replace them with an altar to me.”

My face heated. It was true, we worshipped the local gods.

I wanted to follow the one true God, but if my family and the townspeople found out I’d destroyed their altars, I’d be in deep trouble.

Still…deep inside I knew the truth – we couldn’t claim to worship God, then put our trust in others for a successful farm.

I nervously waited for the next night to fall so darkness would hide me. I pulled down the fertility altars and burnt them on a new altar to God. I put our prize bull on it.

In the morning everyone was furious and somehow I was found out. A crowd of angry people swarmed to our house, calling for my blood.

My father shouted from the window, “If Baal is actually real, he can stand up for himself.”

The crowds parted, waiting to see what Baal would do. Nothing. I breathed out. The God I trusted was stronger than Baal.

Then a messenger arrived, spluttering that the enemy had amassed a huge army. I knew I had to call on the nearby tribes and attack, but despite everything…I doubted.

It was one thing to trust in God for our livelihood, but another to believe he could save Israel through me. I needed a sign.

“Please God,” I prayed, laying a fleece on the ground. “Don’t be angry with me for testing you. If this is right, make the fleece wet and the ground dry.’

God did as I asked. He’d always be with me. I was right to stop relying on false gods and trust in the true God alone.