But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause?”Judges 6:31
Israel was once again in trouble. God had delivered them out of their 400 years of slavery in Egypt, and the tribe of Manasseh was living in the town of Ophrah. They had backslidden into the comfortable during their times of prosperity and peace.
We see this pattern over and over again not just in both ancient and modern civilizations, but with God’s people, in the Old and New Testaments, and our world today and past generations. Whenever God’s people turn away from Him, we see this pattern unfold. Instead of honoring God and putting Him first in our life and, we see even believers begin the slow descent into setting up our own idols, statues and gods to depend on.
Running from the onslaught, God’s people ran and built shelters in the clefts of mountains, caves and crafted other strongholds. The Midianites and others would come, camp on the land, ruin their crops, rape, and pillage the people, taking by force whatever they wanted.
Fearing they would come for the wheat harvest Gideon would often take the wheat inside and thresh it on the winepress floor. It was a difficult task inside but somebody had to do it if they were going to survive.
Imagine today multitudes of robbers and vandals riding in on vehicles instead of camels, ascending on your home, stealing your children, your livestock and burning your tents.
The Bible says they covered the tents of the people and their livestock like swarms of flies on a carcass.
The people of God had forgotten the trustworthiness of God. They had not even bothered to put an altar up or pray to Him. But they began to call themselves lords, gods, landowners, magistrates, and other titles of authority.
God had even established cities of refuge, where it was possible to go until you were able to receive a fair trial. God had set up His government, and God had upheld it, defended it and the people who honored it. Even when the people rebelled, God was faithful to discipline them and bring them back under His covering. All the people from the south, north, east and west and from the beginning to the end of time, God could run to His people and they would be protected from harm until justice was served. They were a people of integrity, character and power without titles.
There will be only one Kingdom that will reign forever. Until then evil men and women whose gods are their bellies will continue to pillage, ravage and enslave others for their benefit. But God will be their judge and one day every knee will stand before Him and bow down. I will gladly bow my knee to the Lord of Lord and King of Kings. He is my redeemer, my safe place and keeper of my heart.
Who were Baal & Asherah?
Baal , properly Baʽal, was a title and honorific meaning “owner”, “lord” in the Northwest Semitic languages spoken in the Levant during antiquity. From its use among people, it came to be applied to gods.
These poles, or sometimes stylized trees, stood as a sacred monument and tribute to the Canaanite goddess, Asherah.
According to Canaanite myth, this mother goddess created several gods in the Canaanite pantheon with the other creator god, El. The Canaanites often worshipped her via trees (Asherah poles) because of her association with the tree of life. She gives life to 70 other gods in the Canaanite pantheon.
His faithfulness endures forever. They had built these altars really to themselves and to their accomplishments, making them false gods and appealed to them for riches, health and wellbeing. These gods had been no help. When we begin to see others tear down statues, make certain you are not fighting against God. Who or what idol does that statue represent.
According TO JUDGES 6 – Generation Gideon
As is the pattern throughout the Book of Judges, the Israelites again turned away from Yahweh after 40 years of peace brought by Deborah‘s victory over Canaan, and Midianites, Amalekites and other Bedouin peoples harried Israel for seven years. God chose Gideon, a young man from the tribe of Manasseh, to free the people of Israel and to condemn their idolatry.
The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!Judges 6:12
The Angel of the Lord greeted Gideon then sent him on a suicide mission:
The Angel of the Lord, or “the Lord’s angelic messenger” (Judges 6:11 NET) came “in the character … of a traveller who sat down in the shade [of the terebinth tree] to enjoy a little refreshment and repose” and entered into conversation with Gideon. The narrative has echoes of the meeting between Abraham and the visitors who came to him in the terebinth trees of Mamre and promised Abraham and Sarah, in their old age, that they would have a son (Genesis 18:1-15).
Gideon’s father was a powerful man and had built an idol, to which the LORD asked Gideon to tear it down.
25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old.[b] Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole[c] beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of[d] 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[e] bull as a burnt offering.”
27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.
28 In the morning when the people 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!
29 They asked each other, “Who did this?”
When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”
30 The people 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.”
31 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.” 32 So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal[f] that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”
Therefore on that day he (Joash) called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.— Judges 6:32
I believe Joash, Gideon’s father used such great wisdom here. If the mob had executed Gideon as they wanted to, then they would have actually lynched the very man God had chosen to lead an army of 300 men against their enemies and destroyed his Godly leadership as their judge for the following 40 years. Gideon was not only a great leader and judge, but he also sets a great prophetic shadow of Jesus, our Savior who was sent to earth to redeem mankind once and for all to take away the sins of the world. He was bruised, broken, crucified, crushed and rose from the dead to live again and establish His Heavenly Kingdom once and for all.
Jesus tells us that knowing the truth will set us free. We must learn from His Word, and through His Holy Spirit, what is happening in and around us and then respond as God tells us to.
Thomas Carlyle: “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”
For nothing is hidden which will not become manifest, nor secret which shall not be known and come to light.Luke 8:17 Berean
Jesus said to Peter when he drew his sword and cut off the High Priest’s ear, “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him. “For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
Who will arise to turn this world around? The generation that will most certainly turn this world around will not be focused on worldly things. Their focus will be fixed on those things which are eternal and will and cannot be destroyed.
Their bank account balance won’t matter. Their position won’t be taken into consideration. Even their gifts and talents won’t mean much, for anything done before the “eternal generation.” We are told that anything that isn’t eternal will be burnt up at the end of our lives.
How can we spot this generation Jesus was speaking of?
I believe many saints have certainly gone before us from this world, and I believe those like Gideon, who are sifting wheat in some unknown winepresses are busy serving, loving their Savior Jesus. They are a generation who are watching, waiting, listening and being obedient to God. Jesus reminds us that His Word will never pass away or be found untrue,
Truly I say to you that this generation will not have passed away until all these things shall have taken place.
The Day and Hour Unknown
Mark 13: 32-37“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
“Therefore, keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
Jesus tells generations past, present and future to “watch”. If we are watchers and are following Jesus, and one of His disciples, we have nothing to fear, even from those who can take our freedom, our lives and our possessions. We have been assured a place in His Kingdom that transcends all time and space.
What will that look like? I’m not certain of it all, it is a mystery to me, but I am certainly watching and waiting for it? If you would like to know how to enter that Kingdom I am always waiting and watching for your call, voicemail or email.
Marlene combines teaching, prayer, worship with the prophetic, words of knowledge, wisdom and
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