Summary: As we continue to examine the life of Gideon we see how scared he can really be but despite his fears he still presses on and obeys God.
Think back to your childhood for a moment with me. I know that this might be more difficult for some and easier for others but let’s all do this together. Think back to the good old days when you weren’t tied down by so much responsibility and your main goal for the day was to just have fun.(Boy I wish I could go back there.) Now think about what your parents were like during those years. Now I know for some people this might be difficult but please bear with me for a moment. During those years if your parents wanted any one thing from you what do you think it would be? The answer to that question can be many different things but I think that there is one answer that can be true of any parent. For my parents I think that the one thing that they wanted the most was for me to just do what they wanted me to do without ever being told to do it. Without them even hinting towards what they wanted me to do. For example, if the trash needed to be taken out I should just take it out before my parents even noticed that it was full. I think that most parents would agree that they would love that. So why does it seem like children are scared to obey their parents?
The same way it seems like children have problems obeying their parents in the simplest of ways, we have problems obeying God in the simplest of ways. We have all, at some point, done something that we knew was wrong before we did it. Why do you think that is? First of all it is the sin nature that is inside each and every one of us but I think that we have a fear of obedience. We are scared to fully commit to what God wants us to do because we are scared of receiving a difficult call from God. I know that I have thought this way before. I struggled for a whole year to listen to God’s calling to become a youth pastor because I was scared of the challenges that that position would bring. So I didn’t obey because I was scared of the obedience.
So why doesn’t everybody just trust and obey? I mean we know that there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. So why don’t we? We have let fear take complete control. We know that going all in for God and obeying His Word will bring some difficult challenges into our lives. We know that there will be people who hate us. What if we get called to move to another country? All this and more starts to fly through your head but I need you to take a moment and just breathe. Calm down and just simply trust and obey because there really is no other way and if you don’t want to take my word for it then let’s see what happens when Gideon applies the trust and obey model.
1a) God’s Request
So we start this story off with a request coming directly from God to Gideon but think for a moment just what this request entails. Gideon has to take his father’s bull, when their food supplies are being attacked, and tear town the altars to the false gods, gods that these people believed to be real. Sure we know that those gods are not real but the people who put up those altars believed them to be so they will view this as a direct attack against them. Not only must Gideon tear down these altars, he also has to build one to God and sacrifice his dads bull on this new altar. So if Gideon does this everyone in the town is going to be beyond mad. I don’t know about you but I would fear obedience at this point.
2a) Gideon’s Response
Gideon does follow through with what God asked him to do but he does it with fear. Instead of just trusting that God would keep him safe he does what God asked him to do in the middle of the night. Would you do any different if you were in Gideon’s shoes? I honestly think I would have done the same as Gideon because I would be too scared of what other people would say or do to me, which is another reason why we are scared of obedience. We let those around us scare us out of obeying God. So now that Gideon has done what God has asked what is going to happen to him?
3a) People’s Reaction
So what do the people do in response to seeing what Gideon has done through the night? The immediately discover that Gideon is the one responsible and they want to kill him. So at this point put yourself in Gideon’s shoes again. Are you happy that you obeyed God? Doubts are probably creeping in at this point in Gideon’s head. Fear has really set in and maybe he is even thinking that this is all because he obeyed God. We know how it ends though. Gideon’s dad steps in and saves Gideon’s life. So God didn’t allow Gideon to die because of obedience but now the people in his hometown look at him with a sense of disgust. Whenever they see him they call him Jerub-Baal which means to let Baal contend with him. In other words everytime they see Gideon they are saying that Baal will punish you for what you did.